Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Lan Cao / Gregor Seidl / Wolfgang Seidel - Optimistic Modernism [Moloko+ 102]

Recently released via the German imprint Moloko+ is "Optimistic Modernism", an acoustic homage to the interchangeable modernist design approach of the 60s, interestingly oftentimes aimed at female consumers, built and condensed from 3.5 hours of material created by Lan Cao, Gregor Seidl and Wolfgang Seidel over the course of three recording sessions at the former Rotaprint factory in Berlin Wedding in 2017. Coming with an extensive 48 pages booklet and a special cardboard slip cover the album itself caters a menu of eight tracks in total, opening with "Jettatura", a tense, 4:44 minutes spanning excursion into retrofuturistic electroacoustics with score'esque qualities whereas "East Anglia" explores full on minimalism garnished with echoes of echoes of Post-PostRock and swampy modular bleeps. The follow up "Tarantism" explores more of a nervous, scraping, percussive, abstract and somewhat FreeJazz- / Tribal-infused vibe, "Robin Hood Gardens (Steal The City From The Rich)" brings more score'esque, brooding, feverish and this time slightly Asian vibes to the table, fusing eruptive outbursts and calm, yet tense and spine-tingling background tones whereas "Zugzwang" is steadily working towards a climaxing, polyrhythmic crescendo. Using "The Sixth Sense" we see the three musicians continue to follow the polyrhythmic path whilst adding some intense piano chords and strummed string instruments to the well threatening melange, their homage to the "Barbican Estate" is as stripped down as it is thrilling, providing a Western / Morricone'esque tension for the concrete architectural desert and the final cut that is "Ghibli Garden" brings on a trundling, slightly chaotic take on highly experimental Indietronics for a confusing, yet well interesting closing.

Album artwork on Instagram!


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