DECAYCAST Reviews: Philipp Bückle “Paintings” (Moving Furniture Records, 2018)
“Paintings” is the newest work from Germany’s ambient/drone maestro Philipp Bückle via Moving Furniture Records on LP, CD, & Digital. “Paintings” offers forty plus minutes of minimalistic, thoughtful, introspective drone compositions spread over twelve tracks. The album’s intro, titled “Elegant Company In Front Of A Palace” opens with a soft, pillowed muffled wash of static and barely audible clicks of voice and potential movement. Slowly, carefully and intentionally the album’s intro crescendo’s in volume and intention with lush, sine waves, akin to the decay of a distant call for help, or love, or compassion, or companionship, The track builds and swells and before you know it we are left with an ancient, beeping, buzzing, nothing. This theme of a lost communication, reaching out across a barren empty landscape continue throughout the record, which apparently is the third in a trilogy of similar works recorded in the artists vacationing spot of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Some tracks offer more musical stringed resolve, where as other occupy a noisier more abstract space, but the tension holds well across the album as a whole, although the noisier passages seem to build the tension which is often released and resolved through the more string based, musical compositions. This isn’t 100% experimental, but it’s also somewhat indescribable as it does oscillate seemingly well intentioned between what some would call noise, ambient, and drone while still offering the listener points of resolve with fairly standard musical compositions so to speak. The more ambient tracks stand out as the album’s stronger and more interesting experiments though Bückle manages to carry forth his themes of loss, isolation, and occasionally comfort and discovery in a continuous and intentional way, which acts as a glue for the varied structures and styles of compositions presented on, the aptly titled, “Paintings”, as many of the songs feel like vignettes, posters, experience in of themselves each wearing a slightly augmented form of sorrow on it’s sleeve.
Of the more traditionally musical tracks, a quaint cinematic effect is achieved, especially on the vocal forward tracks such as “Figures On A Road Through The Woods” and “A Seascape. The Coast Of The Island In Evening Light” which both boast a rather lush, decaying, middle range voice drone which blends carefully and intentionally with the slowly evolving, churning string and piano drones which lay delicately and subtly underneath the more forward, punctual voice based sections. These are breaths in the cold air of loss, gain, confusion, and clarity, These are paintings, nothing more and nothing less. Take from that what you may. Overall a strong release from a longstanding, musically diverse, and persistent imprint, who you will be hearing more about in the future.