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- Bethanien by Matti Bye
2 reviews. Add your own review.
The sound of a man twinkling a doom-laden slightly detuned piano in a massive old hall. This album is one of those that appears on the surface to do very little but its atmospheres and discordant melodies are such that it transforms the space that you are in until you think that perhaps you are wearing a dinner jacket and drinking a glass of port in a ghostly country pile.
On playing it in the office yesterday several members of staff were mesmerised despite it being as quiet as a mouse and often consisting of just the faintest of piano twinkles. Matti Bye is a Swedish born composer of film soundtracks and as such is a master of tension. The album is filled with ghostly twinkling, the feeling that something very wrong indeed is just around the corner. It has an ancient, antique feel, as though its was recorded decades ago on a crackly phonograph and has just been unearthed.
Bye’s playing is subtle but distinctive and could be compared to a Basinski who had traded warmth for an off kilter spooky discordance. Otherwise think of the soundtrack to some eerie 1930’s silent film, shown in a creaking cinema with all the lights off. Limited to 300.
9/10 Gosh Snobo Customer review, 11th June 2014
A fantastic album of dreamy, Satie-like piano pieces with an artful touch of subtle processing, field recordings and additional production to make it sound elegantly deteriorated, as if it was found in the attic of an old, abandoned buidling. Which is actually not too far from the truth, as it was mostly recorded in the halls of Bethanien, XIX century German hospital compound located in Kreuzberg, Berlin, which these days is turned into art center and artist residence after serving as a squat for years. The spirits of impressionist composers meet ghosts of generations once inhabiting the space, creating an ideal spooky/romantic atmosphere to soundtrack your daydreams, reflections and, possibly, lamentations. RIYL: The Caretaker, Goldmund, Akira Kosemura, Sylvain Chauveau, Library Tapes, Roger Eno.
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