Besides being one-half of the abstract ambient band Centrozoon, Bernhard Wöstheinrich enjoys a lively career collaborating with numerous other talents, like Ian Boddy, Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock, Conrad Schnitzler, Harold Grosskopf, and No-Man singer Tim Bowness.
Here, we will examine a pair of recent releases that display extremely different modes of his creativity...
ERIK WOLLO & BERNHARD WÖSTHEINRICH: Arcadia Borealis (CD on DiN)
This release from 2009 offers 63 minutes of polar electronic music.
An engaging blend of bubbling and frigid electronics are utilized to capture the mood and thrill of Arctic explorers in the 18th Century when they ventured into the great unknown of the frozen north.
The electronics are crisp and bewitching. Chilling atmospherics evoke vast icy expanses, while substantial electronics populate this wasteland with instances of drama and wayfaring courage. Additional textures serve to add density to the harmonic compositions. A bevy of auxiliary electronics contribute melodic definition and cyclic propulsion.
A dose of subtly gritty sounds blend nicely with the slippery demeanor adopted by the majority of the electronic instrumentation. Shuddering pulsations ooze along, pursued by frozen surfs that cascade and recede into delicate washes of sounds that fuse contemporary and ilbient sensibilities into a novel modern style of EM.
Percussion is periodically employed to heighten a song’s tension. Meanwhile, in other tracks electronic effects provide a rhythmic presence. Most of the tempos are relaxed, but somehow manage to inject a snappy undercurrent to the flowing music.
These compositions excellently capture the arctic environment with their glistening mien, while the performers’ smooth collaboration enliven things with their inventive approach. The sultry tunes exhibit a dreamy quality seasoned with touches of alluring pep, resulting in ambient music possessing a tasteful degree of animation.
THE REDUNDANT ROCKER: Collider (CD on Unsung Records)
This release from 2006 offers 56 minutes of thrilling electronic rock music.
The Redundant Rocker is Bernhard Wöstheinrich.
Electro-pop with very eccentric sensibilities. Heavy on the electronics with a fair showing of additional instruments, all seasoned with strong rhythms.
This music is hard and toothy, while possessing a fluid structure that fuses buzzing basslines with searing guitar riffs while slippery keyboards provide a plethora of bewitching embellishment.
The electronics are versatile in their pursuit of cementing together the brash sounds into a cohesive and quite compelling flow.
Guitars contribute heavily to this music, with growling chords and blazing pyrotechnic riffs that swim through the mix like radiant snakes.
Churning basslines provide molten support, burning their way through the music’s foundation like fiery pathways.
The percussion is domineering, often harsh, always engaging. The rhythms force a vibrant rock temperament on the music, transforming things into rollicking tunes whose beats captivate as much as they provide locomotion.
These compositions exhibit undeniable rock tendencies, but their delivery is crafted with a keen sense of contemporary electronic music. This combination results in a dose of remarkably alluring tuneage that defies codification while ranking extremely high on the delight scale.
This disc includes a video for one of the songs.
To read reviews of other recent projects by Bernhard Wöstheinrich, go here and here.
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