During June and July, "Skizzen" will be presented as an installation in "PROGR BERN"'s stairwell. 12 speakers are positioned all across the stairwell, playing the "Skizzen" CD in shuffle and repeat mode from six different stereos, thus layering all the different tracks and creating new combinations and loops of sound... more information at www.leerraum.ch.
Vital Weekly (NL)
The press message says something about this being the second full length solo album Steinbrüchel. I find that hard to believe, since I would have thought there would be more music by Ralph Steinbrüchel. No doubt the blurb is right. 'Skizzen' is the German word for sketches and the thirty pieces on this disc are surely sketches. However I must say that I also think that the word sketches is not a good one. If I hear the word Sketches it sounds like 'throwaway', something that is not very serious, scribbled on a piece of paper, not worth of releasing. And all of these qualifications are not the case with the thirty pieces by Steinbrüchel. They are carefully constructed small pieces of laptop electronica. Each one carries his own signature, setting themselves aside from the others. The smallest particles made audible, soft crackles and a deep end bass sound. The sounds that Steinbrüchel uses may not be the newest around as this is high glitch land territory here, but over the years he has developped enough skills to make small, interesting pieces of music which don't deserve the name sketches. (FdW)
From the excellent Bine label, a sometime Raster-Noton affiliated imprint, comes this follow up to one of our stealth discoveries of last year, the wonderful Benjamin Brunn CD. ‘Skizzen’ is a more self conscious, ‘difficult’ affair, but when has this ever deterred us! Divided into almost random series of numbers and letters, the tracks range from short to interlude in length, making for a beguiling patchwork of sound and textures. The tunes seem to work on the mind exactlky because of this minute process of accretion. Reference points would certainly include Raster, as well as the discerning minimalism of Taylor Deupree and Richard Chartier, somewhere between the more contemplative moments of 12k and the noisier end of the Line imprint.
After collaborating on a couple of sublime works for 12k and List with Frank Bretschneider and Guenter Mueller I thought it might be nice to reintroduce you to this superb work on the excellent Bine label. A wonderful example of his deeply excellent minimalist, digital Electronica, it features challenging, textural, micro sounds and fragments coupled with high frequencies and subtle drones that you can really get your teeth into. But there's melody as well, as you'd expect, although it's not always to be found in the most obvious places! Fans of Raster, Line etc. should thoroughly enjoy this. Recommended.
Anyone who knows a bit about Steinbrüchel also knows that he's all about drones - digital drones within a self-willed density that crawl along your ear to bite them a little. "Skizzen" comes with 30 short tracks, making it an outstanding album, not only giving an insight into how Steinbrüchel "works", but preventing you from losing yourself in it as well. Finest sound miniatures that always catch you without warning.
These are indeed sketches ("Skizzen") only, since during the 30 short tracks, many ideas are introduced only briefly, fixed and layed down for further processing. The domicil artist thereby creates some fascinating miniature universes of discrete clicks and floating drones, whose strictness and limitation create unknown heights. It's hard to just daddle in those sounds, as too much of the energic depths and merciless beauty would get lost, and the mind would not be free enough to play along the tones. And that's just what makes the charm of this release - you can listen to Steinrüchel's "Skizzen" as a suggestion and let your own music come into existence in your head.
More heading towards freedom is Zürich artist Steinbrüchel, who created 30 ambient atmospheres on his second lp, most fittingly entitled "Skizzen" (scetches; on Bine Kompakt/A-Musik), oscillating between density and wideness.
Lecker Elektro (DE)
30 tracks, each around two minutes, are gathered on Steinbrüchel's second album. Sound scapes in minor, atmospherically glimmering and making a perfect soundtrack for a nice comfortable walk along the forest. No beats, no nervous convulsions, everything flows nicely and minimal. Cool for the open-minded, all others please have a listen first.
Created between 2001 and 2004. Warm and comfortable sound scapes! Inconspicuous background stands against conspicuous foreground. Harmonic as, but more quiet than, "pop ambient"...
Touching Extremes (Blog)
Ralph Steinbrüchel's latest is not only a confirmation of his talents as a sound carver but also a perfect introduction to his work for people who are not familiar with his aesthetics. In an imaginary translucent folder lay these short "Sketches", computer-generated pinholes through which iridescences and glowing flashes become a weightless, unburdened fusion of polychromatic axioms flitting around and generating an offspring of hissing hums, repetitive structures and crackling drops of bionic dew. Though the pieces are on the short side, there's a perfect sense of continuity along them; the music sounds like a pictorial history of a yet-to-flourish strange plant, whose sinuosity is contrasted by the rigid scheme of the small corner where it has been put to grow. These elements of counterpoise make "Skizzen" an ever-so-balanced listening, certainly Steinbrüchel's best proposition until this very moment, surely a prelude to even better things to come.
Blow Up (UK)
No, here's not the upteenth microsound record we review for a mere review sake. In fact the second full length album by swiss Steinbrüchel is the confirmation of a mature composer, with a great thickness and a capacity to not be boring in a field that has been widely dissected. Thirty miniatures, more or less two minutes each, and the usual habit for simmetry and numerical-literal calembours (all the titles are alphabet letters in chronological order, except for the multiples of three, marked by increasing numbers with alternatively positive and negative signs), minute and gentle glitches as from an agonizing hard disc, intense swarmings diluted in china ink with a strong narrative sense and a precious and transient beauty which looks like to crumble in your hands, as frail as some butterfly wings.