all compositions by Stephan Blumenschein
bass clarinet: Susanna Gartmayer
drums: David Schweighart (1, 2, 5, 6) & Chrisotph Hehn (4)
recorded, mixed and mastered by Manuel Mitterhuber at goon-studios/Linz
graphic design by Bram van den Berg
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Stephan Blumenschein is a visual artist, who lives and works in Amsterdam. He also approaches sound and music from a visual artist's point of view, though, if one were to expect that everything here would be about abstraction, reduction or deconstruction, one would be completely wrong. It is also not about noise or being radical. Rather, Blumenschein’s music seems to be an excursion about space itself, or about giving sounds a certain place. In fact, when listening to this heterogeneous work, one has the feeling of moving through differently designed rooms of an exhibition.
Thanks to his autodidactic approach, Blumenschein creates songs more like one thinks of interior design - and he approaches it through the timbres and above all through the interaction of two musicians*:
The drums/percussion are set with high rhythmic and dynamic precision by the Viennese local hero David Schweighart, while Susanna Gartmayer's bass clarinet illuminates and explores corners that one would not expect in song structures. This is precisely what transforms the often simple musical structures into exciting gems. Sometimes tracks like »playingtag« remind of moodoogic digressions or a Kate Bush track that got stuck in the right moment (»a numb tungue«).
What is decisive is that Blumenschein manages to give the sounds or melodies an exciting place without making them obtrusive - he rather points towards the relationship between sounds. Even the monologue, in which the artist speaks in his own voice, serves rather as a signal in an acoustic space that was conceived solely for it. The album-cover, designed by Blumenschein and Bram van den Berg, with it’s different perspectives on two legs, indicates that this music might be about movement. A slow and not too wide or difficult one, but one that becomes beautiful when being done concentrated.
Ventil Records 2020