Vital Weekly (NL)
Apparently Steinbrüchel never had a solo, full length CD on 12K before, despite being present on compilations, an EP and a collaboration with Frank Bretschneider. His ‘Parallel Landscapes’ is not another CD release but incorporates music and art. The latter via a sixty pages (CD-sized) booklet of photographs by Taylor Deupree, design by Steinbrüchel and an essay by Lawrence English and raises such issues as music and landscapes, music as horizontal layers, drawing curves of sound files and such like. Steinbrüchel uses what he always seems to be using, which is sine waves and long sustaining sounds, but somehow he managed to make this all much softer; fragile and delicate even as opposed to the somewhat harsher music from earlier on in his career. I assume that he also uses something more than just (sampled) sine waves. I suspect samples of instruments to be playing part of this too. It’s sounds of a bell being sampled and played across the keyboard. In all eight pieces this is a feature, and perhaps as such one could say there is not an awful lot of variation in this. That is, I think a pity, here: it sounds pretty similar, but it suggests, also through indexing these as more than one piece, as more pieces. Also the music itself seems to me walking common paths of the kind that 12K walked before, especially label boss Deupree did some excellent work in this direction. Steinbrüchel delivers a finely produced CD, but it’s not one that is really innovative. If you like the microsound/warm glitch/ambient approach then you’ll love this. In that respect this is among the best, warm and staying in a similar place.