In “Expand”, first piece of the CD, an engrossing field recording of a rainstorm comprises a series of improvisations on the hackbrett (a kind of cymbalom) by Friedl, who has rapidly become an outstanding member of my listening circle thanks to his deeply affecting recent releases. The body of vibrations propagating from the bowed strings generates a concrete kind of compensation between an ample space for reflection, constituting this music’s main individuality, and a state of preoccupied uncomfortableness which is even more pronounced in the second track, “Contract”; here the digital processing of the hackbrett elongates shapes and resonances until a grudging scepticism opens slightly, remodelling the sound into a shadow mantra where the fear of humans walking alone in realms of apprehension is almost tangible. A powerful statement, moving Heribert’s position towards the highest rank of evocative composers such as Andrew Chalk, Christoph Heemann, Jonathan Coleclough – not to mention Bernhard Günter, who mastered this album.


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