Semperflorens

That Lasse-Marc Riek is one of the founders of Gruenrekorder is evident from the similarities between some of the atmospheres informing Saison Concrète and the vague, half-tangible depictions of diverse environments in Merzouga’s Mekong Morning Glory (see above). This 44-minute work emerges from a protracted silence, after which all the possible variations on what we already know on the subject are presented one after another: buzzing insects, far-flung droning, tinkling objects, whimpering dogs, rustling steps, rain, children, birds, reiterative aspects of unknown mechanical processes. But what sets this CD apart from the rest of the worthless crowd is the way in which Riek has composed the whole, attributing the right specific weight to every acoustic illustration and deciding which details to highlight. The consecutiveness of the events is as carefully scripted as a piece of theatre, each occurrence a definite character moving across the stage and flawlessly reciting a part. The brilliant finale – a barrel organ emerging from a sea of bells and choirs to seal the envelope with a popular waltz – would seem an appreciative nod to some of Christoph Heemann’s ironic twists. But Riek deserves better than mere comparisons: the smoothness of his work’s overall impact is directly proportional to the sense of involvement it generates in the listener. Tedium is not a factor.

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