THOMAS LEHN & MARCUS SCHMICKLERNeue Bilder
Thomas Lehn and Marcus Schmickler have been known for building their sonic worlds for 17 years since their first album Bart. After 6 years of studio silence, here comes Neue Bilder. Their 5th allbum is a constant flux of musical juxtapositions, collisions and balance of their tour de force with analogue synth and computer. The album features two tracks created from two concentrated performances in Münster and Wels, both being magnificently reworked stereo versions of their quadrophonic live concerts. Neue Bilder goes further in their development of sound with meticulously constructed abruptly appearing and disappearing abrasive and tonal sound clusters, remote echoes, and lonely remnants. The CD comes in an awesome artwork by Heike Sperling - who also did the cover for Bart (2000), adding to a time-warp just like the musicians’ instruments.
PHYSICAL | CD
Mikroton Shop €12 Metamkine
Mikroton Shop €7
1. 120220162. 9112013
CATALOG: mikroton cd 60FORMAT: CDEDITION: 300RELEASE: October 2017
Thomas Lehn analogue synthesizerMarcus Schmickler computerRecorded at KWL-Museum Münster (Feb. 12th 2016) and Schlachthof Wels (Nov. 9th 2013)Produced at Piethopraxis Tonstudio Cologne (Jun. 2017)Artwork: Heike Sperling
It was not easy to decide where to start, but I had a slight preference for the Lehn/Schmickler release. I am not sure why, but I guess it’s a combination of liking their older work and not having heard much new music by them in recent years. ‘New Images’ is the translation of the title and I gather both are edited from live recordings by the two; one from 2013 and one from 2016. Marcus Schmickler is behind the computer, playing whatever sort of thing he uses (I am guessing max/msp or supercollider; might be something else) and Thomas Lehn on analogue synthesizer, as the cover says, which I gather is the EMS one, the Synthi A, which has been using for more than twenty years now, and on which is a powerful player. Just as powerful as Schmickler is on the computer, as both of these pieces, with a total playing time thirty-seven minutes, show a brutal force of energy. Not because it’s super loud, well, not always, but because it keeps leaping all over the place, and never loses its dynamic approach. When it becomes quiet, it’s not for a very long time before things burst out again, expand and explode. Nothing stays in the same place for very long and Lehn and Schmickler have a great interaction going between the two of them, responding to each other in a very intuitive manner. On ‘9112013’ there is a giant explosion and then a very careful ending; this a great, massive burst of musical energy to start listening to new releases by Mikroton.