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Andreas Gerth, Carl Oesterhelt

Music for Unknown Rituals (2LP)

Label: Umor Rex

Format: 2LP

Genre: Electronic

In stock


After two years, Carl and Andreas present their second album, and once again, it opens up a wide associative space for us. What strikes us initially is the uncommon instrumentation: a church organ, harpsichord, glass tubes, and more. Like their first album (The Aporias of Futurism), it is mysterious and dark. But it also carries a strong touch of rebellion and adrenaline, sometimes quite pointedly. The pieces are now shorter and feature intricate yet irresistible rhythms. The impact is immediate, yet it maintains a sense of solemnity and ceremony. The Apollonian complexity of the rhythms and subtle melodic interweavings is transformed into a Dionysian, ecstatic, hypnotic, and at times tribal context. "Music for Unknown Rituals" oscillates between primitive instincts and avant-garde intrigues.

The process began in Döblitz, a small village on the Saale river in Germany, inside an old church that houses an organ built in 1886 by Johann Adolph Ibach. Carl and Andreas gained access and secluded themselves there for a few days, accompanied by the organ, an instrument made of glass tubes, and a set of modular synthesizers. After recording the basic tracks in Döblitz, the work continued in Munich and Berlin. Carl played electric guitars, harpsichord, bass, metallophone, xylophone, Indian harmonium, and various percussive instruments. Andreas added layers of electronic sounds, noises, and atmospheric drones. He also created percussive structures extracted and derived from recorded material of technical and industrial noises, which contrasted with the acoustic drums played by Carl. The antithetical approach continues with the dichotomous arrangement of the instruments, often panned hard left and right in the stereo field, creating an antiphonic communication. Some parts, especially the use of the electric guitar, evoke memories of the psychedelic sixties. However, this is anything but a nostalgic album—these musical references are merely remnants, set pieces, and fragments used from a contemporary, post-modern, post-youth-cultural, and post-romantic perspective.

Although Andreas and Carl continue on their chosen path of composing music with an almost literary narrative structure, this album is conceptually and formally completely different from their first effort. If “The Aporias of Futurism” was a revolutionary manifesto (in a pataphysical sense), "Music for Unknown Rituals" is more like the implementation in action; it is the practical application of the previous statement. To put it another way, if "The Aporias of Futurism” was the conceptual manifesto of a dark utopia of modernity, "Music for Unknown Rituals" is the staging of free will surrendering to the myths and catharsis of a Greek tragedy. And in response to this, the artwork features a leitmotif of histrionics with hands, the hands being the first and intuitive part of the body to express something: a ritual, a prayer, a defeat...

Cat. number: UR149LP
Year: 2023