EXIL 8467-2
LC 08972

german version

Reinhören / listen to: "Boil"

Techno and Drum & Bass have helped to increase the confidence in electrified music as a form of artistic expression in its own right - an effect that DISSIDENTEN keyboard wizard Thomas Kessler is clearly aware of. Explorations into the territories of Ambient, Trip Hop and Electro add spice to the individual musical concept, although the result remains unmistakably a Kessler album.

Smooth, smoky horns, evocative of a New York Jazz Club, collide with synthetic filter-sweeps. Fragmentary strings appear out of the blue, only to fade and disappear into the foggy urban night a minute or two later. Spare, almost fragile piano accents seem to be hovering over laid-back slow-motion grooves, while jittery uptempo loops meet with serene melodies of an almost hymnlike quality.

Despite their extraordinary variety, all of the 8 compositions of the album were obviously created as part of a whole. The overall listening experience suggests a mixture of different artistic qualities: the intuitive approach of the modern DJ combines with the craftsmanship of the classically trained musician.

Kessler has taken a lot of time to produce the follow-up to his much celebrated solo debut On Earth (1995) - and the result is well worth the wait. Composition, improvisation and sound design combine to form an organic whole, resonant with the relaxed, yet concentrated ambiance of Kessler's own studio in Dusseldorf, where he spent most of the last year and a half. The work-flow was interrupted only by a series of live performances with Dissidenten - "the Godfathers of World-Beat" according to Rolling Stone magazine. The friendship and interaction with great musicians from all continents is another influence that has left significant traces on the new Kessler album.

In his own words: "ego is a soundtrack for the mind, seeking to connect with the listener's own fantasy and creative energy. This idea of intimacy, a kind of spiritual communication is really the thread that keeps my music together."



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