Selfportrait VIII - Introspection
Sparse but deep listening album, dedicated to the victims of war and terrorism.
A periodic accusation made about Roedelius' post-Cluster work is that it often flirts too closely with sweet melodic blandness. An understandable perception but only if you allow for the short attention span of listeners too impatient to pay attention to the detail under the surface. The eighth Selbstportrait is a prime example of the ' complexity within simplicity' of his music. The funereal "Side by Side" loops aad infinitum for 14 minutes with only subtle variations in tempo and volume and space between the notes to sustain it. Yet the detail is powerfully evocative - rustling noise, bird call sample, tiny Chinese melodies. Utilised as background music, the track drifts pleasantly by, but listen carefully and there's a hidden magic lurking within. The shorter haiku-like tracks take in prosaic churchy organ or strummed acoustic guitar or gamelan-tinged piano - all bought to sparkling life by the subtlest of melodic nuances or fleeting textural shifts. Introspective it may be, but his is a master at the peak of his gifts.