Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sankt Otten - Wunden Gibt Es Immer Wieder (Hidden Shoal)

Hidden Shoal continues to impress. My first introduction to the label was with Wes Willenbring's debut, Somewhere Someone Else. With its 29th release, it is clear that this Australian label is in no doubt with us to output quality experimental ambient, post-rock, and shoegazing pop material from across the globe. Sankt Otten is Stephan Otten and Oliver Klemm, hailing from Osnabrueck, Germany, with two previous full length releases: Eine Kleine Traurigkeit on Eleganz Records, and Wir Koennen Ja Freunde Bleiben on Hidden Shoal. Don't try to translate the titles, just take in the music as is. Trust me. Wunden Gibt Es Immer Wieder, is the duo's third LP, in which they shed the Bristol's trip-hop influence, and move towards a cinematic territory. The instrumental ambiance of the album is lavishing, gorgeous, and inexplicably German [well, what's that supposed to mean?]. I guess some of those lightly distorted, sawtooth synth and guitar sounds gliding over thick and layered pads is what makes it "that German sound" for me - think Ulrich Schnauss, Klaus Schulze, and sometimes Pole. Read my Two and a Half Questions with Sankt Otten to see what they think about that. The percussion accompaniment is light and upbeat, diluting melancholic heaviness with an airy feeling. And the melodies... Ah, the melodies. The track, Der Groove Des Guten Gewissens, with its dramatic strings and high octave piano notes is a true cinematic experience - turn that up and walk around the city in the rain, and let me know if your eyes don't swell up with tears. Both Hidden Shoal releases are available and distributed through Tonevendor. Similar artists cloud includes Talk Talk, Ennio Morricone, Portishead, John Barry and Bohren & der Glub of Core. | |

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