Hanno Leichtmann: Nuit du plomb
Karaoke Kalk

Why is Nuit du Plomb released under Hanno Leichtmann's real name and not his better-known Static moniker? Perhaps the Berlin-based composer wanted the music to be broached free of any associations with his past work, or perhaps because he created it to be experienced as a sonic illustration of Hans Henny Jahnn's novel The Night of Lead—an electronic soundtrack, as it were. Or maybe the music's slightly more ambient (not to mention onomatopoeic in the case of the rustling “Wind”) character had something to with it. It's a moot point ultimately, as the music bears his melodic imprint. Hear, for example, how deliciously the vaporous synth melodies glisten in “Fenster” and, though the song's churning machine rhythms evoke Pole, the array of lovely minimal melodies that glides so breezily through “Elvira” reveals Leichtmann's touch.

One of the album's most interesting aspects is that some pieces begin in ambient mode but gradually lose their background character as they build into vibrant, imposing settings, the seething doomscape “Reiter” and “Anders,” whose steam-driven horn noise revives memories of Jon Hassell's elephantine trumpet style, two cases in point. At other times, noisy intrusions pierce the Cluster-styled quietude (“Keller”). Like the album in general, “Abspann” entrances, regardless of whether it's attributed to Static or Leichtmann and classified as ambient or instrumental electronica.

November 2006