Review: Chemiefaserwerk – New Nacht Pop (self-released, May 5)

With New Nacht Pop, devoted magnetic tape artisan Christian Schiefner presents his second self-released collection of musical works, this time working with the percussive sounds of lightly struck ride cymbals and hi-hats. True to form, Schiefner’s diligent tape-to-tape layering technique transmogrifies those rattles, taps, and reverberations into stretches of beautifully spectral, sonorous drones, whose ghostly yet slightly metallic qualities are reminiscent of the mystery-steeped compositions of classic musique concrète mainstays such as François Bayle or Bernard Fort. New Nacht Pop is a more focused release as a whole than the more eclectic Listening Stationswith each track exploring the varied possibilities of this versatile sound source. “For Green Tea Tapes” captures a nocturnal, brooding atmosphere of tantalizing tension, distending the spacious forms of decaying cymbal agitations into immersive soundscapes. The following tracks delve more into tactile textures, incorporating the distinctive noises of speed manipulation and some others much harder to identify (like the unassuming but dense cascade of clatters and clicks around which the title track is based). Much like its album cover, New Nacht Pop transfers recognizable physicality to an alien sound-world of the dark and incorporeal.

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