Release Date: July 10, 2012
Vienna, Austria-based electronic trio theclosing have put their self-titled LP online to stream in full and it’s a nice chunk of experimental sonic fantasia. Think Boards of Canada, Casino vs. Japan, Freescha, Four Tet and Odd Nosdam all swirling together in integrating in a pool of sound that alternates between dense vortices and spare space. It should work equally well winter as it does in summer.
According to the band:
“theclosing is written together like that because we are not a ‘band’ and our music is about three very different personalities getting close and communicating through sound. It’s more about things coming together than coming to an end.” So says Alexander Hengl, one of the core members of theclosing alongside fellow musicians/artists Lukas Lehner and Daniela Auer. The three have been working together since 2004 towards the goal of making beguiling and original electronic music that mixes analog and digital sources, including self-made samples, found sounds, and field recordings.
There is a common thread on the album. That is, there is something identifiably theclosing in aesthetic and tone, but there are both subtle and overt stylistic shifts that indicate the trio is capable of some profound musical alchemy.
Album opener “Feldlied” runs closest to the Freescha/Casino vs. Japan dynamic, but does so in attractive fashion. The trio seems to be into the art of mind massage. Perfect for psychedelic trips, to be sure. Or, if one prefers to be chemical free, the song (and the album as a whole) will surely conjure a whirl of images from cold, blue ocean, to bending, fractalized light. While the album opener sets the stage for what is to unfold in this electronic form of fantasy, “tiktak” is the track that puts theclosing into its very own category. It is at this point that the sound congeals, riding the back of industrial beats, and the trio announce their wondrously shimmering and mathematical brilliance.
Some tracks tend toward an admixture of Radiohead, Plaid and Autechre’s music stylings, such as tracks “bergelied” and “rrroar,” while others like “diktnois” sound vaguely hip-hop as torn apart in by the IDM sonic philosophical paradigm. As soon as one settles into that styling, however, theclosing suddenly shift paradigms to something like “andilied” and “neeu.” The former is quite psychedelic in character, incorporating Eastern music instrumentation in a completely smooth and intricate way. It’s not often that a group can incorporate such influences without sounding obnoxious or disappearing down the rabbit hole of world music, but theclosing manage to do it in style.
The shifts in style seem to be a byproduct of the varying tastes of the band members. “We try to channel the subconscious through mouse clicks,” says Hengl. “Playing around with samples, our voices, and instruments; letting things happen ’til there is something. At some points we try to lead things in a certain direction but never too much. As soon as we think too much about it, things get worse.”
One of the most abrupt and satisfying shifts comes with the track “nyejreska,” wherein the band explore the deep bass of trip hop. It’s exceptionally dark and beautiful—a mysterious tranquilizer symphony. The LP loses a bit of focus after “nyejreska” but regain their composure with the single “schnatterlied,” which has a sublime sort of beauty that is psychedelic and metaphysical, a vibratory menagerie of static, percolating pops and droning strings. The final moments play out in the song “m4,” which is dream-like in execution that any Orb fan will appreciate it.
Stream the album over at Electronic Beats. Also, stream and download the singles “schnatterlied” and “box” below, along with the tracklisting.
The album will be out July 10 on Circle Into Square.