Igloo Magazine (US)
'Canopying the whole sky, the cloud-watcher on the ground might spy unexpected shapes in the textured dub haze of Altostratus Translucidus: Bach practicing scales on his harpsichord, boxcars passing across the prairie, the tone arm of a record player jerking back with each revolution.'
The silicon dub techno entities identified as Quantec and Monoaxial are based on the carbon life form Sven Schienhammer, based in Berlin. Although shared DNA is readily apparent, Quantec and Monoaxial, both extremely accomplished projects, judder and quiver more, while Scheinhammer’s debut long-player assays a misty, porous minimalism. Named after the meteorological term for opaque, layered cloud cover, this is very sheer music indeed, with the beat more often implied than actually struck. Not only can light pass through it, but the cloud absorbs more than just condensation rising from the earth below. It pulls in waves of electric static, snatches of conversation, a striding piano. A piece broken off a guitar riff evolves into a proper dub reggae moment, if only for a moment. A woman’s voice repeats, “Going, going” without ever getting gone, which makes the title “Future Life” quite witty. If you really let your imagination take you there, “Being Immersed in Another World” feels like an afternoon at a beach-side Californian bar. Canopying the whole sky, the cloud-watcher on the ground might spy unexpected shapes in the textured dub haze of Altostratus Translucidus: Bach practicing scales on his harpsichord, boxcars passing across the prairie, the tone arm of a record player jerking back with each revolution. For an album with such a consistent grasp of its premise, Scheimhammer’s first full-length contains a remarkable degree of variation, from the airiest ambient to the most basic dumb disco snare and hi-hat. The colours with which he daubs his expansive canvas prod the listener’s imagination in all kinds of directions. (Stephen Fruitman)
Luxurious album of dub-techno ambience from Sven Schienhammer, who's probably best known for his Quantec releases on Echocord and Meanwhile. As the title suggests, 'Altostratus Translucidus' is a meteorological metaphor for Sven's subtle convective diffusions, focussing on the processes of volume - concentration - discharge shared in Dub and weather systems. The first third of the album builds a misty mass of shimmering, effervescent dub chords, precipitating the gently padded 4/4 release of 'Sound Signals For Other Planets'. At the centre of the album we find the gorgeously evocative sound scenery of 'Night Over Mojave Desert', before the mood begins to feel more clammy with the closer chords of 'When Night Meets Day', but is neatly resolved with the digital freshness of 'The Helical Rising Of Aldebaran'.
Sven develops a directorial melange of dub influences, chord arrangements, minimalism & field recordings.
Vital Weekly (NL)
Recently I put some old stuff on my Ipod, compilations from the hey-day of ambient house. Perhaps because I predict a return to ambient house? Or perhaps because I liked some. I also put on some of Wolfgang Voigt's old music on there, and when I was on the train, I found it hard to fully enjoy his old Gas releases. Maybe its something for speakers only? I come to all this because of Sven Schienhammer's new CD. Its been a while since I heard a so blatant copy of the Gas sound. Highly compressed sounds, creating a thick, fat mass of sounds, feeding through a bunch of computer plug ins, amplifying the hiss like elements in the sounds, layering and bouncing them around. It takes a while to arrive, but towards the end the rhythm machine is added, in that dubby lazy vein that, damn, we also know from Gas, as well as some of Voigt's other musical incarnations. Minimalist and dubby dance rhythms. What's the point of re-creating something that was good so many years ago, copied already a lot and now sounding a bit worn out? I haven't a single clue. While reading the morning paper, sipping coffee and such things, it made some great music however, as this is not bad. Just not very original. Not at all. (FdW)