Triola: im Fünftonraum

In the context of a Kompakt Total comp, a Triola (Jörg Burger) track might attract less attention than the more extroverted fare of its surrounding brethren. But across the breadth of a full-length, the delectably understated sheen of its music rises to the forefront without competing distraction. im Fünftonraum represents—not unwelcomingly—Kompakt's gentler side. This is music that eschews aggression, dissonance, or rawness for a refined poise that's maintained throughout—music as dreamy as the blurred shimmer that wafts over an ocean's horizon. After three albums as The Modernist, Burger returns here to a deep, melancholic chill-out style, though one augmented by restrained beats of soft bass drums and hi-hat patterns.

The opener “Leuchtturm” begins in classic Pop Ambient mode, with Burger assembling vaporous swirls of glistening electronics and flute tones into a sensual oasis, seagull cries faintly audible in the distance. But aside from this overture and two other gauzy ambient pieces (“Junge Männer Von Gestern” and “Der Endlos Blaue Himmel”), im Fünftonraum unfurls propulsively, as the bright intro in “Neuland” gives way to its gentle burble of chiming keyboards and rhythmic patter. A faint, sparkling Kraftwerk melody sings out amidst an array of electronic flutter in “Unland” while minimal bass lines and soft percussion patterns maintain a smooth midtempo pulse. Peter Gvero's guitar adds welcome contrast to “Wanderlust,” but, in keeping with the album's aesthetic, don't expect power chords or raunch as his guitar is smoothly draped over the song's shiny surfaces.

Anyone searching for revolutionary moments or radical paradigm shifts won't find it here, but im Fünftonraum's ten sonic jewels are certainly satisfying enough. Afforded the cumulative impact of a fuller album-length presentation, Triola's lush sound assumes a substantiality that might be overlooked when heard in smaller doses.

November 2004