Adam Wiltzie – Eleven Fugues For Sodium Pentothal

Adam Wiltzie


The title sounds like one of the Stars Of The Lid albums. Not surprisingly, since Adam (Bryanbaum) Wiltzie was a core member of this legendary duo together with Brian McBride.
With Dustin O’Halloran he’s in A Winged Victory For The Sullen, and with Chantal Acda he performed as Sleepingdog. And in the past, there was also Aix Em Klemm with Bonny Donne and The Dead Texan with Christina Vantzou. A man of duo’s, it seems, now presents a solo album under his own name.

Eleven Fugues For Sodium Pentothal is not his first solo album – Adam Wiltzie composed quite some movie scores, Salero (2016) and American Woman (2019) among those. But it is the first solo album under his own name nót related to a movie. It unequivocally demonstrates his experience and demonstrates why all of the projects he participates in end up in so many ‘best of’ lists in ambient music.

There’s this signature combination of electronics and acoustic orchestration: the basic tracks were recorded in Wiltzie’s home studio in Belgium, and strings were added in Budapest. Robert Hampson mixed it in such a way that it is hard to distinguish one from the others, ‘further lending the music a sense of cinematic expanse and oblique hypnosis’.
Initially, the music was inspired by ‘a recurring dream wherein “if someone listened to the music I created, then they would die.”‘, and the music ‘uniquely evokes and evades the allure of oblivion, keening between beauty and ruin, forever unresolved’.
Until, after 36 minutes and 40 seconds, it ends surprisingly abruptly in the closing (Don’t Go Back To) Boogerville.

Sodium Pentothal, by the way, is a ‘rapid-onset short-acting barbiturate, used commonly in the induction phase of general anesthetic’.

As Adam Wiltzie comments about the title: “When you are sitting face forward on the daily emotional meat grinder of life, I always wished I could have some, so I could just fall asleep automatically and the feeling would not be there anymore.”

Listening to Eleven Fugues … also helps – without any side effects other than comfortable sleepiness.

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