Somnambule - Writing About Music

Cordell Klier ~ Winter

Cordell Klier’s music is the stuff of sinister, post-apolocalyptic soundtracks – it could be orchestrated, post-produced field recordings of irradiated zones... darkness at noon caused by decades-long nuclear winter... frozen winds blowing over blasted landscapes...

Winter explores a dark ambience through ten fairly low-key, untitled tracks. The first of these finds a beat halfway through its ten minutes which is all geiger counter regulation. Are we walking Chernobyl’s deserted streets, the concrete-clad reactor housing looming out of the mist ahead of us? Track 3 takes us into a large reverberant space (inside the reactor core itself?), voices murmur and echo off the walls. Percussion stabs hit like thick slivers of frozen rain. Track 4 lifts the mood a little, but only a little to reveal a watchful edge, small clicks and syncopated sighs accumulating to create a clockwork rhythm bed. Track 7 introduces a phased, plastic hum that might be a siren – when it ceases it’s a relief though it returns in different modulated forms and keeps on cutting in and out.

Rhythms are detailed, engaging and appear non-repetitive while malevolent atmospheres hover above them like poisoned clouds. The closest analogue to this music in terms of mood that I can think of is Bedouin Ascent’s masterful ‘Further Self-Evident Truths’ EP from 1994. Winter is a dark and interesting experience which engages because of its sense of depth, achieved through a sensitivity to dynamics and aural space. Recommended.
Colin Buttimer
March 2004
Published by Absorb