REVIEW Unknown Artist ‘°//°\\\°’ [Giegling]

The ever elusive record label ‘Giegling’ has recently released an EP titled ‘°//°\\\°’ and its already making waves. Operating from Weimar, Germany, the label has captured the interest of many avid music collectors, but only those who look for it. This release, out in mid December of last year, brings the hauntingly beautiful and the mind-bending obscurities that are a hallmark of Giegling productions.

A clean, shuffling break beat drum rhythm lays the foundation for ‘Shadow’; its crisp attack and precise delivery setting the tone. A fuzzier synth tone grows in volume, swells in intensity, only to taper off, echoing for what seems like forever. Borrowing more than just the track name of vocalist Chromatics track, ‘Shadow’, her whispering voice begins. It is one that has the authority to capture attention, but also the tone to compel calm. Soft as silk and smooth as honey it blankets the rest of the track, its pleasing harmonies rounding the edges of the melancholic, minor tones. Elongated words stretch over bars, effectively balancing the double time drum tempo. Despite the connotations associated with its title, the track is anything but dark. But as with life, the two are synonymous.

Like its estranged twin, shaped by years of different nature or nurture, ‘Track 2’ is all that ‘Shadow’ is not, while, of course, maintaining the same level of excellence. Sampling Canadian saxophonist Colin Stentson’s track ‘To See More Light’ it begins as if there is no rhyme to its reason, simply a ramble of seemingly unattached and improvised woodwind notes, but that would be false. Out of the dust a true concerto emerges – a solo instrument taken from the original, with percussion taken from ‘Edwards Stripped Down Remix’ of Conny Planks ‘Muffler’. The presto notes take off, leaving us behind and all we can do is scramble to pick up the pieces, making sense where we can. Structure appears in the oddest of places; in accented beats, increased percussion and the inclusion of more tonic notes, all of which help to pacify our chaotic minds. The remaining minutes explore other musical realms, as a variation on the original theme.

°//°\\\°’ EP with ‘Shadow’ and ‘Track 2’ was released on December 15th, 2017 on Giegling (Tess).