Published Nov 09, 2016Named after the foreboding family of birds that includes ravens and crows, Corvus is a project that builds on a juxtaposition of sinewy field recordings and forlorn, minimalist traditions, an unconventional combination that drove the critical acclaim of Recondite's breakthrough LP, Hinterland. After three years of releases with esteemed imprints such as Innervisions, Hotflush and Acid Test, the Berlin producer rejoins the Ghostly International fold with an EP that continues to experiment with melding the harsh cries of Bavarian birds with the assertive tempos of minimal techno.
Traces of organic recordings are sporadically dispersed throughout the record, lending the minimalist construction of tracks like "Corvus" a gothic overtone. Understated, reverberating synths interchangeably mingle with gentle mallets to drive melodies over robust rhythm patterns. Bookended by two renditions of "Capable," Ricardo Donoso's remix numbs the impact of Recondite's skeletal drums and restless rhythms in favour of richly woven strings that cloak the record's ghostly aesthetic with an ominous yet progressive ambience.
Drawing from the soundscapes of Berlin by moonlight, the record is pale, cohesive and regimented, as best realized in "Kauz." The EP implements pensive and cinematic themes to lend each brooding track its meekness and sincerity. Meditative and minimal, its brisk pace mitigates the record's gloom.
The Rottal-Inn native insists that "melancholic doesn't necessarily mean dark. Music can be happy and moody." Loosely inspired by Ryuichi Sakamoto's soundtrack for The Revenant, Corvus manages to experiment within a deliberately understated framework, reconfiguring expectations of the genre. (Ghostly International)