Dorfschmidt//Gröhder is an artist collective whose most prolific members are Cris Frickenschmidt and Jan Bröhl. The two have been known for their media art performances and Licht|Klang (Light|Sound) – a project in which they illuminate churches in Germany with lighting and laser as well as synchronized music. Released via the German Independent label Battersea Electric, Dorfschmidt//Gröhder’s new full length album “Wildidyll” is the follow-up release to the EP “Ginko Friseur Salong” which dropped the previous year. Frickenschmidt and Bröhl are well known in the German electronic indie scene and are also active with their electronic fun punk band Analoge Stereoide, while Frickenschmidt is also known as the composer for the synth-pop band Alphamay.
“Funkelei” opens up by giving the listener a taste of the band’s aspirations. It veers from Ambient to Downtempo, as the protagonists show they aren’t prepared to merely tread well-worn pathways, but are committed to making the electronic scope sound deeper, all while never losing sight of the fact that they intend to encourage you to willingly go with them on this journey.
At times the presentation is eerie in its stark alienation, as on “Tagverzug” and “Quasi Vertrauen”, while at others there’s an undercurrent of melodic charm, most notably on “Fluegelschlag”. Throughout, the multitude of layered sounds allows the listener to use his own imagination to come up with a meaning for it all.
“Zeitenraum” has the whiff of building turmoil masquerading as controlled musicality, as it stoically holds itself back. “Raub Des Traumers”, on the other hand, expands and unleashes its inner energy, leading to the captivating cinematic soundscape of “Meine Stimme Fuer Das Nichts”.
All throughout, this album shows glimpses of mesmerizing soundscapes and ideas. Offering a refined experience, a cerebral journey through sound. With experience and chemistry together, Dorfschmidt//Gröhder are able to translate their ideas into sound with poise and control.
The flow throughout the arrangements is spectacularly subtle, having a seamless transition between percussion, bass and keyboards. As the songs ascend into their apexes with spine-tingling keys, it is very difficult not to be drawn into the music; to imagine the scene Dorfschmidt//Gröhder intended to create.
What Cris Frickenschmidt and Jan Bröhl do is absorb the listener into the music, and drive home the emotion of the experience. As you can no doubt guess, “Wildidyll” isn’t for everyone. It doesn’t bludgeon you with canned synthesizer bombast, aggressive rhythms or over-complex passages.
It creates lush, unpretentious but immersive soundscapes that are often ambient and downtempo, then cinematic, but also direct in some of its melodies. If you permit yourself to be immersed in the music, and allow yourself to float away into Dorfschmidt//Gröhder’s world then this is quite simply a spell-binding album.
Indeed, music of this nature takes you on a journey that will lead you to a very satisfying place, but time and patience are needed. Dorfschmidt//Gröhder do a masterful job here of creating well structured, refined, but vibrant pieces of music.
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