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CD Feature/ V.A.: "A Private Shade of Green"

img  Tobias

While collaborations among two or more artists have become day-to-day business in the world of experimental music, they are still anything but commonplace when it comes to labels. Maybe this has to do with the fact that in times when record companies are increasingly turning into the focal point of certain scenes with stronger “images” than the musicians they publish, the “diva-ism” amongst them has grown – as well as the fear of loosing their identity by selecting the wrong partner. What great chances might well be missed by this behaviour is signalled by “A Private Shade of Green”, a joint venture between Frankfurt-based Gruenrekorder and Leipzig’s Privatelektro outfit.

And please note: This is not the usual seemless mix of similar acts or even a dry genre-compilation curated by like-minded label owners. Rather, the way this album penetrates your mind with a unique melange of field recordings and electronic tracks ranging from the concrete to the abstract, the pleasantly academic to the powerfully intuitive as well as from the futuristically progressive to the majestically retro, seems to suggest that the idea was born before any concepts of marketability. From an outward perspective, this marriage is certainly not obvious in any way – if only because the scenes behind the labels hardly have any musical or social intersections. Maybe one can explain the coherence and absolutely gorgeous interaction between the artists represented here by the fact that a large part of the interest of Gruenrekorder has been directed towards nature, the city and their mutual interconnectedness, while Privatelektro releases are often marked by a curiosity of reconciling the organic with the technological. In any case, one can do without rational explanations. The weightless field recordings by artists such as Yannick Dauby, Costa Gröhn as well as label owners Lasse-Marc Riek and Roland Etzin are heavenly contrasts to the intense aural hallucinations of Parachute or Reverend Benn Schipper without even once being reduced to the status of interludes. Somehow, both worlds cross-fertilise each other as each track seagues into the next, opening up new spaces of reception. And quite possibly, pieces like “Gletscher” (inspired by a mountain hike) by triPhaze or the algorithm-based “Platines” by Shintaro Miyazaki are field recordings in their own right – if only from a different point of view – just as much as the Gruenrekorder cosmos points to a musicality inside everything around us.

“A Private Shade of Green” is an optima optimorum in the sense that it works both as a showcase of the artists involved as well as creating something bigger than the sum of its components: Despite the radical breaks in its texture, this is a dreamy voyage that you can take to the park for a night of listening and watching the stars. It is also a great example for how label collaborations could make a real difference by sharpening perception and creating unprecedented experiences. In any case, a second volume of this would be greatly appreciated.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Gruenrekorder Records
Homepage: Privatelektro Records

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