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latest news, links to my music and network and some reviews from the press.

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Now available:

Cold Harbour EP with an 8-postcard-set of beautiful icy photos by Wilhelm Schroeder, released by Adventurous Music:







Lost in a sea of sound on “Grauer Morgen ungewisse Bilder”:

Timeless currents flowing in undisturbed pathways while civilizations have come and gone. The energy that makes everything continues on. The sounds of Oberlin mirror these thoughts. Creative beauty finding music as a vessel, beats and rhythms eventually leaving at light speed, the beginning has circled around. Now the instruments used to explore vast distances are left in dusty deterioration. Oberlin gathers what still can make sound and coerces the ever flowing sonic beauty through them. This time, guitars, pianos and recorders are not pushed to play faster and more technical, they are simply conduits for a natural energy that has existed long before. The most natural and simple beauties are built upon fallen high towers and broken walls of glass. Oberlin explores the aftermath, altered aural landscapes growing sonic vines on crumbled dreams. Oberlin is the project of Alexander Holtz. His composition titled “Grauer Morgen, Ungewisse Bilder” is one of the later offerings in a lengthy discography. With over thirty five minutes divided among four tracks, sounds sit thick in the conscious and ethereal in feelings. A connection to natural serenity helps build swelling contentment. Moments when you realize how beautiful all that surrounds you really is, the brief time in between onslaughts of man made devices of progress. A surge of raw opulence from a world both evolving and decaying through existence. Oberlin is consistent within this composition and with offerings both before and after Grauer Morgen, Ungewisse Bilder. This helps explain why very few physical copies remain in many of Oberlin’s catalog. 
Grauer Morgen, Ungewisse Bilder is a Cosmic Winnetou release. Both Oberlin and Cosmic Winnetou are from Germany and physical copies of this tape will come from there. Currently this release is sold out from the label, but there are some remianing from Oberlin’s bandcamp page. Well worth the time to listen and explore, not just this release, but everything. 


Drifting, Almost Falling on “Grauer Morgen ungewisse Bilder”:

Alexander Holtz records under the name Oberlin and has had a handful of releases on the Thirsty Leaves label. “Grey Mornings Hazy Pictures” is the English translation of the title for the second most recent Oberlin release (his “Bodman” release came out on Hibernate in April). If there was a title that reflected the music, then it is this one. Released on the German label Cosmic Winnetou, “Grauer Morgen Ungewisse Bilder” is a four track release of ultra minimal drone pieces. There is a stillness which is hinted at in the releases title. The beauty about the pieces is their minimal charm and the small range of dynamics. The pieces could be easily corrupted into noisier, dissonant pieces, but instead Holtz makes them quiet, calming and intriguing at the same time. It is almost like they are the soundtrack to a calm dawn when there is nothing around to shatter the peace. The end result is four pieces that are perfect for the sort of self reflection and meditative listen without the woo woo factor that style of music tends to embrace.

“Grauer Morgen Ungewisse Bilder” is available on limited edition Cassette and Digital.


Vital Weekly on “Grauer Morgen“:

From Oberlin, I reviewed a CDR before (see Vital Weekly 1063) and I know it is the musical project of Alexander Holtz (who called himself Leandro Xhalter before), a man with a Eurorack synthesizer and keen sense for all things grey, as already indicated by the title, which loosely translates as ‘grey morning, uncertain images’. I heard only one previous release by Oberlin and quite some time ago, so I forgot about that, but re-reading the old review I did, I think the music was a bit more uplifting than the four pieces on this release. These are all in minor keys, recorded in a sort of rusty environment on what could be a cassette of Ferro quality. The cover says he plays an Ibanez custom e-gitarre, Eurorack synth and, on two pieces, the piano. There is desolation here, just as with PJS, whereas as they are in an open space, alone in the universe sort of thing, Oberlin is alone at home, locked within four walls, playing his slow, desolate tunes. The arpeggios of before are slowed down, there are sparse piano notes and quite a bit of space. This is more the soundtrack for a cold winter’s day than a breezy spring day if you catch my drift. It is certainly music that caught me on the right day and in the proper mood; great stuff!


Possible Musics on “Stundenglas”:

En compagnie du musicien ambient Oberlin, on regarde mais surtout on écoute le temps qui s’écoule avec 8 titres très évocateurs.

Il sera question du temps qui passe dans le nouvel album du musicien ambient ectroacoustique allemand Alexander Holtz qui office depuis cinq ans sous le pseudo Oberlin.
Dans Stundenglas (sablier, en français), son dernier album  on imagine entrer dans une maison fantôme ayant été habitée par le passé et dans laquelle on découvre des objets épars ici et là :  des livres poussiéreux (Bücherstaub), de jeux pour enfants abandonnés (Kinderspiele), des hortensias bleus (Blaue Hortensien) dans un vase sur le rebord d’une fenêtre, à côté duquel se trouve une lettre à une femme (An Gertrud), écrite sur un papier ayant à peu près la même couleur que les fleurs. Dans le four de la cuisine, des éclats humides (Feuchte Späne) sont les restes d’un feu lointain…
Une impression de grande mélancolie et de mystère ressort de cet ensemble composé à partie de 3 instruments (piano, guitare et un synthé modulaire) avec des sonorités sourdes et lointaines, et avec par endroit des textures granuleuses issues de field recordings. Vraiment très beau.