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CD Feature/ Mirko Uhlig & Dronaement: "Farewell Fields"

img  Tobias

To everybody involved, the e.t.a. Festival at the AZ Conni in February of this year felt like a miniature version of Woodstock: Two days with a very openminded and warm mood, diverse and exiting performances as well as a glimpse of the future: Shortly afterwards, Noise act Broken Diode released their quickly sold-out debut disc, Tholen went on to sign a deal with seminal Canadian outfit Cyclic Law and Mirko Uhlig and Dronaement would forge a powerful partnership of which „Farewell Fields“ is merely a first sign.

While the album opens up a horizon of posibilities, it is mainly a look back to that defining weekend with both artists effectively delivering the material to the AZ Conni gig – one long track around the half hour mark each. And yet, „Farewell Fields“ is not just a live album. Dronaement's contribution has been digitally remastered by Nextera Records' labelhead Karel Kourek and Uhlig's piece comes in an extended studio version never performed like this before. These fields are still fresh.

The virtual set of “Farewell Fields” opens with one of Mirko Uhlig’s all-time favourites. „Para Puri“ has been an integral part of almost all of his recent performances, chiming in the atmospherics and instantaneously creating an ambiance of high expectations and majesty. For the studio version, recorded in preparation to the e.t.a. Festival, he takes more time than on any of these occasions.

Essentially, his entire composition is made up of nothing but a deep, breathing bass vibration, a spliced-up voice sample as well as a four-tone melody, which fluently melts with the underlying undulation. Thanks to asymmetrical cycles, filter modulations and the mute button, the elements will move in or out of sync, subtlely juxtaposing as the music unfolds and creating a circling sensation. This track is not about development, it is about falling, letting go and about space. Around the sixteen-minute mark, it seems to all but fade away, but returns again with staggering intensity. „Para Puri“ is one of those pieces, which will stay with you for weeks, burning itself into your subconscious like a flaming fire.

In direct comparison, Dronaement's „Fields“ is more open and diversified. Building from guitar lines swaying gently in the warm wind like a mobile on a sun-lit veranda, Obst takes his audience through threedimensional field recordings, morning drones and even a passage of rhythmic sequencer pulsations in the best of Krautrock traditions.

Considering this is a live recording, he displays a pronounced sense of direction, a definite sense of proportions and an intuitive feeling for arrangements, coming full circle with an effective rehash of the opening bars at the very end. With its sounds of cocks crowing and birds chirping as well as through its smooth surfaces, the opening half of the work has a pastoral beauty to it, while the mood turns contemplative and brooding in the second one, with the sustained tones taking on a more determined, premonitous and cosmic air.

Nothing is ever spelled out in full, everything remains a beautiful allusion and a silent gesture, but Obst uses this to his advantage. His world is filled with chinese whispers, childhood memories and vivid episodes from a life in the country, breathing softly into your ear lulling you to sleep. By all means, this is music to drift away to and to get lost to in a sensual spark of associations.

With all of its differences, though, both tracks have something very important in common. They deal with rest and balance and proceed at their own pace. Even more importantly, they are emotional in a way usually reserved exclusively to Rock or Dance music, far away from cool intelectualisms or abstract philosphies: These picture postcards from a personal Woodstock are always aimed straight at the heart.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Mirko Uhlig
Homepage: Mirko Uhlig at MySpace
Homepage: Dronaement
Homepage: Dronaement at MySpace
Homepage: Nextera Records

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