Ervin Omsk Creates Disorienting Soundscapes on 'Peilen'

Ervin Omsk Creates Disorienting Soundscapes on 'Peilen'
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Ervin Omsk is Sven Fritz, a visual artist from Germany who has turned his hand to creating electronic compositions that defy form and structure. His debut album, Peilen, is a polyrhythmic sound collage containing mostly unique percussion noises, vocal snippets and electronic flute-based interpretations. Peilen, a German word that translates as a test of the depth of sound, stretches the sonic landscape and challenges our understanding of how music impacts us. It is a difficult listen in structure, but it's often pleasing with its palette of uncommon soundscapes.

The arrangements on the surface feel random, but in reality, each phrase or note is set to multiple or varying time signatures and tempos that are quite cerebral in their execution. The effect is dizzying at times and lacks any sort of human connection, except the odd moment when a fragmented human voice briefly cries out from the disarray. These moments are exceedingly welcome, as the search for some degree of normalcy carries us further over the abyss of uncertainty.

By the end, the experience is both exhausting and rewarding, and the large chasm between human and machine is well exposed. Perhaps the test then, which the title seems to refer to, is more about our mind's ability to stretch and adapt to irrational patterns of music, and whether there is any emotional collateral in the exchange. (Orange Milk)