Gȕnter Schlienz - Know Your New Age [zoharum - 2019]Know Your New Age is the latest release from prolific German experimental musician Gȕnter Schlienz, as well as releasing 25 full length releases in his own name over the last 10 years he has also been a key member of experimental post-rock band Navel for over 20 years and has been known to record under various other monikers.
Recorded in the Summer of 2018, Know Your New Age is billed as music to heal your soul, an appropriate term when we consider the contents of the music within this frankly lovely album, that not only feels like a very healing experience it positively radiates summer vibes.
Album opener "The Prophet Part One" begins with the sound of waves gently lapping at the shore as synths tinkle and a steel strung guitar picks its way through the opening track. There is an almost West coast Californian vibe to the track, you can almost smell the incense in the air. This is followed by "Lamb Part One", a fairly straight forward ambient synth track featuring beautifully floaty music to relax the mind and body that features some lovely windchime effects created using a synth. "Lamb Part Two" is an even more gentle synth track, featuring some sweet wind sounds and some lovely piano style synth work.
The albums mid-point and centrepiece is the rather lovely "The Prophet Part Two", the albums longest track at over 13 minutes and the real standout. What starts as a real slow build with a single note played repetitively develops as orchestral keys and what sounds like a theremin take the track into new dimensions. As a fan of the music of Sergius Golowin this has that same effect on me where I imagine a Yogi sat atop a Himalayan peak, deep in meditation, this is such a beautiful track. More Beautiful sees the return of the sound of waves lapping at the shore, this is another ambient masterclass that recalls the sound of whale song to me. The album closes with "The Prophet Part Three", a short 3 minute piece built around a steel strung acoustic guitar riff and some background found sounds with some pretty twinkling synth sounds adding that extra little something to the mix.
Overall, Know Your New Age is a beautiful record that is so redolent of balmy summer days, that is has me yearning for warmer climes. At times it takes me back to the beautiful music of 1960s West Coast California and at others it gives me a far more eastern esoteric vibe, either way it works beautifully to create an album that I will continue to enjoy into the summer when it finally arrives.Darren Charles