The Mark of Excellence

M. Ostermeier

Chance Reconstruction

By Eric HillThe subtle shift between his earlier EPs (Percolate and Lakefront) is carried over into Marc Ostermeier's third release of 2010. The Baltimore, MD native initially showed leanings towards graceful minimal techno with occasional acoustic flourishes. But on this first full-length, a greater appreciation for silence and organic rhythms facilitate a jettisoning of the drum tracks in favour of field recordings and occasional swells of cello and guitar. His piano playing, a constant on all releases, has the unhurried loveliness of Sakamoto or Chauveau, while the unpredictability of compositional elements hint at traces of Max Richter. Ostermeier's background in engineering is evident in his ability to ease delicate bits of incidental noise (amplifier pops, cymbal vibrations) forward and then back into a defined 360-degree sound space. On "Beacon Adrift," his tremolo guitar work and digital cicada will make some nostalgic for Labradford's sci-fi desert vistas. In its (micro-)scope and variations, Ostermeier has made an album sure to please fans of minimalism across all its genre distinctions.
(Tench)
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