Wolfgang Voigt the maestro of minimal / ambient techno, graced London with his presence a little while ago, performing Rückverzauberung to a rapt audience at St John-at-Hackney Church. This double LP features the full performance, the resonance of the room adding extra depth and power to Voigt’s sound. 180g 2LP on Astral Industries.
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Ambient techno poster boy and former ball of gas Wolfgang Voigt has brought the park to the church. His most recent technoless creation Ruckverzauberung 10 was a very green homage to national parks, a musical pat on the back to horticultural city planners worldwide, and here he places that sound world into St-John-at-Hackney church in London for some of the local scenesters to peruse. Thing is, I keep hearing some random indie-folk Sufjan clone from the office during the quiet moments so I’m actually in 3 places at once right now and very confused...
...which is completely at odds with the sound of this, a neo-classical piece of ambient glory consisting of violins stretched into pillows and flutes thrown into the loop maelstrom, which is really an almighty blur to be projected into a church. The acoustics of the space are fairly nicely captured, the recording having a certain largeness to it that can be easily noticed when you take the headphones off, hear the narrow confines of your room, before plonking them back on and sitting in a pew. I think this may be a sonic touch that the original lacked, a sense of moving air. Sure, it hardly makes sense to place a park installation into a church performance setting, but for those who missed the German exhibit, a church certainly gives new meaning to the composition - to revisit the Beethoven analogy from the review of the original, the Pastoral Symphony is still played in churches today. Go on, argue with Beethoven. Try.
The reverb of the space gives a certain eeriness to some parts (impossible to direct you to), which I could have sworn weren’t in the original version, so I’m taking this as Voigt responding well to the Hackney Godhouse. It’s real nice, and I’d be inclined to recommend this over the original.
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