Sølyst — The Steam Age
(Bureau B BB220, 2016, CD / LP/ DL)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-06-19
Drummer for the Düsseldorf band Kreidler, Thomas Klein also records as Sølyst. His latest solo effort is The Steam Age. Based on the title, I was expecting something along the lines of Victorian Steam Punk mechanical sounds. But The Steam Age is entirely different. For his third solo album, Klein started with an abandoned piano as his sound source. He built up a library of tapping, scratching, scraping, plucking sounds from the wooden body and the steel strings. Then using his sampler he constructed different patterns, loops, and sequences in combination with the typical Sølyst groove. Very much like Moebius’ approach on Nurton, Klein begins with a hypnotic rhythmic element and adds and subtracts layers of sounds that provide interest even when the piece is pure rhythm. Many of the tracks have a mechanical or heavy machinery vibe to them, while others are dark and sinister. Each track is different, between one and seven minutes in duration. The oddball track is the eight-second “William” that is merely a manipulated and processed child’s voice. And the other track that is different from the rest, and what appealed to me the most, is “Catching Leafs.” On “Catching Leafs” Klein used soft sounds to create a delicate floating, drifting piece that eventually, through transpositions, develops a catchy melody. Overall The Steam Age presents some interesting experimentations using a palette of previously unheard sounds that you have to be in the right mood to fully appreciate.
Related artist(s): Thomas Klein / Sølyst
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more