Review of Reihen [12k2053]

Groove (DE)

Uwe Zahn alias Arovane has published on A Strangely Isolated Place, Echochord, Puremagnetik, DIN and several other labels – this list shows a little where the stylistic journey is going. His album Tides, which was released two decades ago on Thaddeus Herrmann’s label City Center Offices, belonged to the spearhead of the IDM and listening electronica scene, which was growing stronger at the time.

This class is confirmed once again in rows, Zahn does not compromise on marketability or zeitgeist on his 23rd long player, according to Discogs. The album begins with a piece carried by looped and sonically processed piano sounds, which is somewhat reminiscent of the works of Ryuichi Sakamoto. This is followed by three tracks that are arranged more flatly, with a thicker sound, whereby it is never possible to fully analyze which instruments have been used in detail, too many loops overlap and result in a complex sound between synthesizer and unidentifiable drones.

The mood of these pieces is harmonious and forgiving, no lockdown depression is set to music here. On the contrary, even the sonically darker pieces such as “Sunter” or “Sicht” are predominantly in major and radiate something friendly, difficult to verbalize and engaging, which is located beyond functional relax and heal-heal-goose music. Only exceptional artists like Stars Of The Lid or Markus Guentner, who has just released a great new album on A Strangely Isolated Place, manage to do something similar. Arovane’s ranks belong in precisely this league, which is able to create ambient without kitsch and New Age slapstick. – Mathias Schaffhäuser

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