Published May 01, 2012Do I detect the tiniest hint of 21st century rhythmic gratification with this excellent new Atom disc? Certainly this record has less of a rigorous factor than Liedgut, his "lied"-off release on Raster Noton a few years ago. But it's pretty clear the old drum & bass Atom is never coming back, much less Señor Coconut, Schmidtt's one-time alias. Winterreise possesses a greater range of sounds, with tinkling piano and plangent bass in the "Dree Schneewalzer" suite sounding particularly naturalistic in contrast to the stiff, harsh, programmatic noises and structure. On the one hand, the disc's repetitive rhythmic elements are severe, which discourages momentum, but delicate sub-styles scurry in and around the loudest elements, providing constant intrigue. You may break out in a rash thanks to the digital mosquito swarm within "Streing," whose other sounds have a retro-futuristic dystopic feeling about them. Yet the analog warmth of "Ein Winterabend" tips the balance more towards romantic notions. This is a more satisfying release than Liedgut, one you will want to listen to again and again for clarity, depth and rhythmic nuance. Highly recommended.
Read an interview with Atom here. (Raster-Noton)