StillStand - Das Leben in vollen Zügen [Oxidation Records - 2022]
Das Leben in vollen Zügen(Life to the fullest ) is the ninth album from the German project StillStand. It’s a nine-track CD album, which brings together nostalgic and forlorn ambience, woozy electronica, field recordings( often public transport/commuter focused), and low-key noise elements/ tones.
The StillStand project is all the work of Kahl am Main based Martin Steinebach- also of Compest, Monoid, Conscientia Peccati. StillStand has been active since 1999- and Das Leben in vollen Zügen is its first new release in around twelve years. The album, presented in a jewel case with stark tube train-related picture artwork is available from Illinois based Oxidation.
Each of the album's nine tracks has runtimes between four and eleven minutes- with the tone largely remaining decidedly aged, dusty, and tired. We have the sad hovering 70’s/ 80’s synth hoover ‘n’ drone of “Roedermark” which sounds like a more gloomy/ lengthy Boards Of Canada track that’s nudged by static drift and later drifting samples. There’s the billowing/ accelerating train tunnel tones meets haunted electro chop ‘n’ ghostly warble of “Duesseldorf”. We have dense and woozy textural tangles meets raising dull triumphant harmonics and wonky sliding beats of “Fahrt II”. Or the hazed pulsing, aged radio drifting, and greyly ambient glow of “Ausstieg Rechts”.
I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for hazy 'n' nostalgic ambience/ drowsy electronica- so I must say I rather enjoyed what Mr Steinebach had to offer with Das Leben in vollen Zügen… let us hope it’s not as long as twelve years for his next release as StillStand.Roger Batty