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on 9 June 2013
...needs a bit more spice

I bought this album because of good reviews in music magazines and because of the intriguing artwork of the sleeve of the vinyl version.

OK, so building on relatively simply musical ideas can result in stunningly beautiful music. This is what Philip Glass or Steve Reich are all about. It forms the basis of much of what is disparagingly called Krautrock, too. Fuer Immer from Neu 2 is Exhibit A, here. A very basic musical idea but Dinger and Rother transform it into an organic, pulsating 11-minute masterpiece.

Why do all of these pieces "work"? I think it's because of the rhythm which propels each of these pieces forward - a perpetuum mobile groove thang. Of course simple ideas endlessly repeated don't have to have a rigidly motorik rhythmic momentum - listen to the heartbreakingly beautiful "Small Hours" from John Martyn on his five-star "One World" album.

Which brings us to Saltland, The tracks are based on very simple musical ideas, as they unfold layers of sound are added sequentially using a mixture of acoustic, electronic and virtual instruments, some with vocals and some not. But there is none of the rhythmic momentum that should sustain this approach. Nor is their is the limpid beauty of the Small Hours alternative. It all sounds so uninspiring and unoriginal. There are loop libraries that come with your DAW or can be purchased from third party providers which with tweaking could be used to make tracks like this. Coupled with the muddy sound of the mix on m 180g vinyl, this makes this album hard to recommend.
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