Roland Schappert - Route 2 [R-ecords - 2022]
The centre is missing from Roland Schappert’s Route 2, and I think that’s one of the points of the release. He uses a brand of “organic digitality” to create a sonic landscape populated by fragments, and ornaments which surround its empty core.
We are treated to textures and brief moments of linguistic interjection, but only rarely in full sentences. “I”, “You”, for example, are wrapped around an intricate sonic texture that exists without obvious connection to something fully formed or thought through. “Love You”, is one instance, as well as “Dich”, where we get the sense that Schappert isn’t concerned with making sense; rather, he acts like a grammarian of an electronic language that just is, without the burden of synthesis. Keeping things from crystallizing into an organic whole is actually much harder than it sounds, never absorbing the piercing appearance of the audible into the flattened plain of a song.
On the album’s final track, “Campari Sekt” – an aperitif of Campari and Champagne whose slow, orange mixture is meant to conjure the sunset – it becomes all-too-evident that, for Schappert, there is nothing more absurd than turning raw sounds into metaphors, place-holders for something other than what they are. Getting down to the nitty-gritty of sonic materialism means refusing its incorporation into predetermined structures, a danger more suspect than that of music itself.
For fans of microtonal minimalism and its forms of blinding clarity, Route 2 will be a treat. For those who desire wholeness and logical progression, look elsewhere. Schappert is too busy investigating the formal structure of his digital sources to be bothered with keeping the centre intact. To find out more drop in hereColin Lang