Paul Wirkus - Disours Amoureux [Edition Beides - 2016]Cologne based artist Paul Wirkus returns with his newest, challenging ambient work, Disours Amoureux, from Edition Beides. A delightful mix of field recordings and laptop electronics, Discours moves and shimmers through time periods all from the safe prospective of Summer 2016. The combination of laptop recordings and processed field recordings adds a wonderful dimension to this soft, subtle work.
With four tracks covering a variety of time periods, Discours Amoureux is ~35 minutes of introspection and contemplation through synthesized sounds and field recordings. Differing in design, the real and synthesized elements could lead to a jarring clash of sound. Fortunately, Paul Wirkus handles this material well and the interplay between soft and concrete work together to form a real and engaging whole. "1982" opens up the album with lower, underwater-like sounds, that lurch and undulate to lure the listener in. Softening before getting airy, "1982" runs the gamut of sounds before opening its arms up to the heavens. Like a medieval village morning, "1499" uses light, quickly moving tones and chains to capture what feels like an everyday morning from the past. The most contemplative of the bunch, "2016" bases its approach on a long, undulating drone from which all other sounds bounce and play. Covering a fairly turbulent year, the inclusion of voices and a crowd in the middle is an apt way to add a human element to the thoughtful tones on display. Airy, cinematic, and (comparatively) grandiose, "1888" captures the spirit of a widening world and a return to spirituality. Staying grounded while hinting at something greater above, "1888" provides a soft and different, but very fitting end to Discours Amoureux.
Paul Wirkus' latest from Edition Beides is short but very engaging. The different approaches taken to achieve his sounds work well in conjunction with one another and add depths that ordinary synthesized music sometimes misses. Whether one takes a message from each year on display or merely sits back and enjoys the sounds at hand (er, ear, I guess), one would do well checking this release out.Paul Casey