(Auf Abwegen)

I’ll spare you the ideological matters at the basis of the artistic intention of Column One; let’s just say that they are a German collective, founded in 1992 by Robert Schalinski, Rene Lamp and Eike Bölling, influenced by the “philosophical ideas of Radical Constructivism, the paths of the Cut-Up demonstrators & Dada Fascists”. An apparent pretty heavy intellectualism, not too helpful in highlighting the core of this review. In fact, we’re talking about field recordings – a surprise, after having read that Column One come from a post-industrial past. These sounds were captured “with the simplest equipment” in a mountain zone of the Eastern region of Germany called Polenztal. How many countryside roads must a man walk down in avant music’s world nowadays? A lot, right? Water, insects, walking in the mud, wind, children at play, a dog that sniffs, pants and howls. But you know what? This particular album is rather splendid, well-known sources or not. There is indeed something grading the abilities of the ones who try to record the voices of life, probably deriving from their inner ear. The editing of the raw materials applied by Schalinski in 2006 elevated this collection to a different level. It is a musical statement, not an insignificant sonic documentary; every single gesture, every element, literally everything causes a reaction – be it a sheer smile, or holding our breath to hear what’s going on a little better. The beautiful photos of the booklet complement an excellent release in style.

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