Steinbrüchel - Parallel Landscapes [12k - 2015]Parallel Landscapes is a soothing, delicate, yet often texturally detailed electro ambient album. It’s five tracks mix together harmonic vibe/slowed gong like electronics, drifting & mellowed siren pitches, and fragile/ subtle electro noise detail- all to create a album that is both relaxing yet stimulating, and rewarding in it’s subtle detail.
This Zurich based electronic and installation artist has been active since 2006, and in the past I have checked out two of his other works – 2006’s Stage( on Line) & 2008’s Mit Ohne (also on 12k). Those past releases had an often a fairly dark/ introspective feel, but Parallel Landscapes is much more of a mellow/sweet affair- though that said there is nothing twee or sentimental about it. Each of the five tracks run around the six to seven minute a piece, and each revolves around their own electro vibe/ or siren pitch patterned bases, which are subtle moved with fragile textural detail.
It’s an album you can either let drift or lap over you like slowly passing landscapes. Or you can concentrate more & focus in on it’s subtle yet rewarding micro detail shifts & ebbs. Either way it’s a satisfying & pleasing ride from start to finish…and I’ve often found myself at the end of the album pressing repeat again.
It’s also worth giving the releases packaging a mention too, as it’s rather special & nicely adds another edge to the whole thing. The set takes in a cd in a double case slip case and a rather plush looking & arty sixty page booklet- the colour printed booklet features laser stencilled wrap-around cover conceptualized and designed by Steinbrüchel featuring photographs from Taylor Deupree and an essay by Lawrence English. The booklet and cd wallet are housed in a slipcase printed inside and out in black and white on contrasting paper stocks
All in all this is another highly worthy release from 12k- it nicely follows the label’s sonic house style of mellow yet textural rewarding electronic/ ambient music, yet it also has it’s own take on that genre too.Roger Batty