Markus Mehr – In


Markus Mehr‘s new album Inis the promising first part of a trilogy: it will be followed by “On” (june 2012) and “Off” (january 2013), so the entire trilogy will take an exact year to complete.

In” features two long tracks, “Komo” and“Ostinato”, about 25 minutes each.
At first listen, two albums come to mind that explore a similar compositional process: Gavin Bryars’ “Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet” and William Basinski’s “Disintegration Loops”.
But the comparision fails, because Mehr chooses quite a different approach to ‘minimal loops repeating’.

The main similarity is the fact that the loop that is used has a distinct symphonic quality: you’ll find yourself humming along with it gradually, and you’ll remember it for a long time after.
But Gavin Bryars let the phrase unfold itself by just repeating it, and William Basinski dealt with the disintegration of cassette tape recordings by letting the loop ‘disintegrate’ too.

Compared to the ‘Disintegration Loops’, Markus Mehr reverses the process: he starts from a slow and quiet loop that gradually reveals itself, builds up to a climax, and he’s not afraid to break with the minimalism dogma by adding distorted accents, dissonant theme variatons, spoken word samples and even a lonely wandering jazz trumpet.
With impressive, dramatic effect!

Though “In” is a remarkable album that stands alone by itself, it also makes you wonder what the next two parts will sound like!

By the way, as a side-note: if you decide to (re-)check “Jesus Blood Never Failed me Yet”, do yourself a favor and find the version with original tramp tape-loop, as released on Brian Eno’s Obscure records.
I definitely prefer that version over the theatrical remake with Tom ‘I’m not a real tramp, I’m just acting’ Waits.

Markus Mehr – Komo/Ostinato (Excerpts)


Spotify– (Also on Spotify)

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