Silencio: Grünezeit
Carte Postale Records

The nine delicate, quasi-ambient soundscapes comprising Grünezeit invite comparison to works like Kompakt's Pop Ambient series and Marsen Jules Herbstlaub. Silencio's album departs from such company, however, by favouring organic development over loops; if anything, the group's sound gravitates more towards Harold Budd's, with the delicate piano ripples in the eleven-minute closer “The Day You Died” strongly reminiscent of his style. Though piano and guitar sounds dominate, Julien Demoulin and Nicolas surround them with a broad array of field sounds, voices, vibes, and strings. The mournful cry of a violin wafts through the contemplative “Memorandis,” for example, while a churning machine rhythm adds industrial dirt to the stately piano themes of “Tumbleweed.” Highlights include “June,” where softly glimmering, Satie-like chords are joined by the faint echo of vibes and violin, and “Like a Friday Night in La-la Land,” where a ponderous setting of piano and vibes in the first half is coupled with a beautifully haunting ambient episode in the second. Grünezeit is a lovely collection whose peaceful quietude (song titles alone—“Sleep It Off” and “The Day You Died”—suggest the music's becalmed character) belies the careful attention to detail Silencio lavishes upon its material.

October 2005