Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Relatives Schoensen

July 23, 2020

In the past couple years, I’ve recommended particularly genre-blending or atypical work with the phrase “for fans of adventurous music“. Little did I know that in April 2019, the phrase adventurous music came to life as Adventurous Music, a German music label for experimental sounds. The outfit has corrected my lack of knowledge and presented me with a truly adventurous collection called Relatives Schoensein

The album is a 40-song (!) compilation and accompanying 92-page (!!) book that surveys all manner of experimental electronic music. Work spans the gamut of electronic stuff. The far end is very nearly white-noise: the long, harsh, atonal “Erode” by Fail; the far shorter, more tonal opener “Leipziger Elsterbecken (Gungan).” The inverse is lush ambient: the Lucho Ripley-esque “Il Tuo Glow Infinito” by Carlo Giustini, “Still Flowing” by Gallery Six. There’s also drone (the title track by Hendecagon, “Yellow” by Nyppy), left-field dance/electro (the busy “Sunworn” by Coppice Halifax, the punchy techno cut “Entity” by Johann Eiriksson), and truly unclassifiable work (“Transitions” by Jo Montgomery, “EKEA” by TBEX). There’s something for everyone here.

I am personally drawn to the melodic ambient and left-field dance, but there was less of that than the experimental, noisier, drone-ier tracks. “UUH (Reprise)” by Signalstoerung is a lovely ambient flutter, while “Southern Hemisphere” by The Empath (feat. Cosmic Noise Crew) is an intriguingly spacey jam leaning on arpeggiators. “Behind the Wall” by Vrum turns an ambient intro into a glitchy, eerie techno stomp, which is one of my favorite turns in the record. Closer “Breakstreet” by 16Pad Noise Terrorist morphs breakbeats and ominous bass with the inclusion of hazy textures to create a strange, inviting brew: it’s as if an orchestra and a rave are happening in rooms next to you, and you’re overhearing both at once. Also there’s some sweet turntable action, which sounds great.

If you’re into harsh electronic, experimental stuff, there is a ton of it on this compilation that will thrill you. If you’re more into melodic work, there are some gems, but not quite as many. Regardless, this is a truly adventurous compilation, and it makes me interested to see what else comes out of Adventurous Music. In addition to the full work, you can download 36 of the 42 pieces here as a benefit release, with proceeds going to Firesticks, Amnesty International, Target-Nehberg, Artist Relief and Campaign Zero.

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Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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