Ulf Langheinrich - Degrees Of Amnesia
If a former East German industrial zone was ever represented tonally this is it. A cross between the original Fritz Lang version of Metropolis and David Lynch's Eraserhead.
Far from the norm for most electronic music fans this recording by German native Ulf Langheinrich works as well as any ambient work I've ever heard. Seamless transitions, subtle introductions of themes/mutant melody lines and a timeless quality which really does make you lose all track of time.
At Running Nowhere a semblance of rhythm is introduced along with the hint of a melody line, but by Floating Near The Ground the rhythm is taken deep into an ethereal engineered landscape to emerge transformed into a repeated analogue pulse, driving the piece deeper and further into itself.
The second movement takes the listener on a full-on sonic voyage through one of the industrial zones Langheinrich says he grew up around. Everything from the relentless thump of distant drop-hammers to the ghostly sound of a freighters' fog horn are represented here.
And onto the third and final movement, this time heavy industry on a godlike scale as you travel among and within deep-space mining craft or some equally mind boggling far future industrial zone.
Degrees Of Amnesia is all about a time spent in the company of machines, but not right there with them, rather hidden and observing from beneath a rail car out in some vast stock yard or in the case of the final works traveling along with them as a silent witness.
Nothing is thrown together here, all has been meticulously crafted. This stuff is visual.
Rating - 988,541 (out of a possible 1,000,000)