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LP / A. Gerth & C. Oesterhelt — Music for Unknown Rituals

LP / A. Gerth & C. Oesterhelt — Music for Unknown Rituals

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2xLP Vinyl in 4-panel gatefold.
Limited to 300 copies + DIGITAL
Release Nov. 2023.

Two years later, Carl and Andreas present their second album, once again opening up a wide associative space for us. What initially catches our attention is the unusual instrumentation: a church organ, harpsichord, glass tubes, and more. Like their first album (The Aporias of Futurism), it's mysterious and dark. But it also carries a strong touch of rebellion and adrenaline, sometimes very subtly. The pieces are now shorter and feature intricate yet irresistible rhythms. The impact is immediate, but it maintains a sense of solemnity and ceremony. The Apollonian complexity of rhythms and subtle melodic interweaving is transformed into a Dionysian, ecstatic, hypnotic, and sometimes tribal context. 'Music for Unknown Rituals' oscillates between primal instincts and avant-garde intrigues.

The process began in Döblitz, a small village on the banks of the Saale River in Germany, inside an old church housing an organ built in 1886 by Johann Adolph Ibach. Carl and Andreas gained access and isolated themselves there for a few days, accompanied by the organ, a glass tube instrument, and a set of modular synthesizers. After recording the basic tracks in Döblitz, work continued in Munich and Berlin. Carl played electric guitars, harpsichord, bass, metallophone, xylophone, Indian harmonica, and various percussion instruments. Andreas added layers of electronic sounds, atmospheric drones, and noises. He also created percussive structures extracted and derived from recorded technical and industrial noises, contrasting with the acoustic drums played by Carl. The antithetical approach continues with the dichotomous arrangement of the instruments, often panned hard left and right in the stereo field, creating antiphonal communication. Some parts, especially the use of the electric guitar, evoke memories of psychedelic 60s. However, this is not a nostalgic album; these musical references are mere remnants, pieces of scenery and fragments used from a contemporary, postmodern, post-cultural youth, and post-romantic perspective.

While Andreas and Carl continue on their chosen path of composing music with an almost literary narrative structure, this album is conceptually and formally completely different from their first effort. If 'The Aporias of Futurism' was a revolutionary manifesto (in a pataphysical sense), 'Music for Unknown Rituals' is more like the implementation in action; it's the practical application of the previous statement. In other words, if 'The Aporias of Futurism' was the conceptual manifesto of a dark utopia of modernity, 'Music for Unknown Rituals' is the staging of the delivery of free will to myths and the catharsis of a Greek tragedy. And in response to this, art presents a leitmotif of histrionics with hands, with hands being the first and intuitive part of the body to express something: a ritual, a prayer, a defeat...

All music composed by Andreas Gerth and Carl Oesterhelt. Mastered by John Tejada in Los Angeles. Artwork by Daniel Castrejón in Mexico City.

TRACKLIST (69:00)

01 Derived from the trout mask in a tentative manner
02 The dissolution of time
03 Abdication
04 The alphabet of steps
05 Les cycles extatiques
06 The geometry of rhythmics
07 At the margin of moments
08 Through the deserts of postmodernity
09 Stereometry of moving bodies
10 Suspecting metaphysical symbols

Umor Rex album page

UMOR REX is a window with a unique vision of experimental music. It's a label worth discovering through the ear, both for electronic music enthusiasts and for those curious about exploring new forms of artistic expression.

Founded in 2006 in Mexico City, UMOR REX is an independent record label with a challenging and experimental catalog, available on vinyl and cassette formats, spanning from ambient to electronic experimentation, dub, and avant-garde. They release the work of artists constantly exploring new sonic territories, such as Felicia Atkinson, Driftmachine, Rafael Anton Irisarri, Gudrun Gut, Siavash Amini, among many others.

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