Brian Eno is MORE DARK THAN SHARK
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"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno

Blurt SEPTEMBER 4, 2015 - by Michael Toland

MUELLER/ROEDELIUS: IMAGORI

The Upshot: Contemporary instrumental music that, like an impressionist painting, it's easy to enough enjoy casually with a glance, but contains enough detail to reward closer attention.

Hans-Joachim Roedelius needs little introduction to fans of experimental and underground sounds, having been a key figure in the development of electronic music as a member of German pioneers Cluster and Harmonia. Christoph H. Müller may not be as well-known by name, but his main band is: the Gotan Project has carved out a unique space for itself as the avatar of nuevo tango, that peculiar but striking blend of Argentine tango and international electronica. Born out of a series of improvisational concerts, Imagori hints at both men's pasts without overtly mining either. Though known for his synth work, the Berlin-born, Austria-based Roedelius concentrates on piano, favouring melodic clutches of chords and rippling runs over the ambient electronics for which he's known. Swiss-bred, Paris-based Müller reaches back to his pre-Gotan days as soundshaper and beatmaker with Touch el Arab, giving his elder a buzzing, clattering backdrop over which to tickle the ivories.

The glitch-ridden opener Time Has Come serves as a signpost toward what's to come, the queasy synthetic noises contrasting quite nicely with the organic piano sounds. Valse Mecanique pushes more for atmosphere than melody, sounding not unlike some of the sharper music on new age label Private Music (a label, not coincidentally, started by a former member of Roedelius' peers Tangerine Dream) in the '80s. The rhythm-heavy A Song Or Not edges close to the dancefloor without actually setting foot on it, while the two-part Origami brandishes some actual hooks. Himmel Über Lima sounds like ECM piano jazz filtered through a DJ's laptop, while About Tape moves into soundtrack territory, at least until Brian Eno makes a distorted spoken word appearance.

Imagori occupies a distinctive niche in contemporary instrumental music. Like an impressionist painting, it's easy to enough enjoy casually with a glance, but contains enough detail to reward closer attention.


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