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[CP 199.07 CD] Max J. Gmelch; Dies Irae

Creel Pone

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The lone 1980 release by this German scholar (he taught at Ostendorfer Gymnasium where he created student-musicals with FX Müller and “dealt intensively with electronic and computer-based music production;” he’s now the head of the “Neumarkt musical and theater association”) toes the line between timbral exploration & staid Berlin-school trappings in a vaguely Christianic manner (much in the way Henry Sweitzer “Te Deum” set merged the era's hegemonic religious tendencies with transgression the year before).

There’s a cursory glance towards woollier lanes that rears its (ugly?) head in spots; honestly, this is what makes this all so special. One moment a plaintive, hand-played phrase will lull you into false soporificity, then suddenly give way to a rising swarm of detuned PWM locusts. The whole enterprise is teeming with little burbles of almost Birchall/Raicevician filigree while rising into these grand, orgiastic climaxes & there’s a certain palpable malaise throughout that hits the spot.

The missing link between Jean Hoyoux’s “Planètes” & “III Hymne”, Angel Rada’s glorious early LPs, & the glorpy woodland-elf magistrates of Bo Hansson (i.e. it’s in the 199.x series for a reason). 6-panel “gatefold” booklet yields what little information is on the LP itself (it’s strikingly stark) in increasingly voyeuristic zoom-lengths.