Charlemagne Palestine and Christoph Heemann 'Saiten In Flammen' LP (Streamline, 2009)

Brand new release from Streamline. Picking up from where there 2008 collab "The Apocalypse Will Blossom" left off, Palestine and Heemann have together crafted another beautifully ominous and lush album of low-end piano hammering and electronically smeared drones.

Charlemagne Palestine is a minimalist composer who has been making music since the early 70's. He specializes in trance inducing long form piano-drone pieces and extended oscillating electronic and white noise music, often times sharing similar characteristics with the works of La Monte Young, Popol Vuh, Terry Riley and Tony Conrad (Hence spawning certain collaborations such as the 2006 release "An Aural Symbiotic Mystery" with Tony Conrad). Despite his incredibly brilliant musical output (and strange stuffed animal obsession) Palestine continues to remain in obscurity, overshadowed by his contemporaries. More info on Palestine here.

Christoph Heemann is also not exactly a house-hold name, but definitely not one to be overlooked. Making music since the early 80's (and probably before that) Heemann has had an impressive output of releases in collaboration with many note-worthy artists and also on his own terms. He started making music under the guise Hirche Nicht Aufs Sofa (H.N.A.S.) which translates to "Moose Without a Sofa." Probably most impressive though, and my personal favourite is his work with Andrew Chalk in the enigmatic and seminal drone project Mirror. More info on releases and collabs here.

Saiten In Flammen, or "Strings In Flame" is a brilliant album. What I find so remarkable about Palestine's work and particularly about this release is that although these pieces are heavily saturated in dense layers of hammering chords and noise, there remains a heterogeneous characteristic to the compositions. Deep listening reveals subtle nuances and flickering overtones among these claustrophobic textures that seem to almost manifest themselves not as a result of the artists consciously attempting at these tones, but more so as an accidental bi-product of creation. This music dances. It is dark and brooding, but it is most definitely alive.

Sourced entirely from a 97 key Bosendorfer Imperial piano played by Palestine and later reworked and processed by Heemann's experienced hand. Both sides are fantastic. Pick it up if you can.


koshka said...

thanks !

Anonymous said...

Only assholes and thieves steal music. Which one are you?

a d r i a n said...

Seeing as how I bought this...I'm neither, you idiot.

mrrey23 said...

any chance will be able to repost this? would love to hear. killer blog you have!