Recondite – Placid – Acid Test (Review and Interview)

Recondite – Placid – Acid Test (Review and Interview)
“What is this thing called Acid?”may at some point and for some people be a question of relevance and though not easy to answer it is quite safe to say that Acid as a musical genre is hyperspecific, a narrow space mainly defined of course by the familiar sound of the 303. Thankfully, American label Acid Test explores the borders (if the term “borders” in this context makes any sense at all. Let’s say “possibilities” instead) of Acid. Lorenz Brunner aka Recondite is one of their chief explorers and he now has a new album out. On “Placid”, meant to be a sequel to his first album on Acid Test “On Acid”(see the interview below for what Recondite says about that and other things as well), Recondite searches the genre for moods and pictures far away from the obvious and expectable and comes up with an album that at first listen feels like a standstill world but if you get into it, it reveals way more than that. The first track on “Placid” sets the tone: “Compel” starts with frozen synths, fragile surfaces of crusted snow crumbling under your feet. Then a deep bass line appears and later the acid sinks in, distorted and blurred but unmistakable, making clear that this album is not meant to be consumed as ambient in the sense of background music. With tracks like “Pass Up” and “Undulate” Recondite slowly speeds up the beats, still the 303 sounds amazingly melancholic and all associations coming to your mind are related to frost. As atmospheric as it is, this world of endless ice involves the danger of being a little one-dimensional in the end but Brunner easily avoids this by throwing in some tracks taking up the idea of Acid as club music. “Sequenze” (coproduced by Tale Of Us) or “Ley” are driving and energetic techno tracks, not obviously meant to be functional (I guess) but will perfectly work on every advanced dance floor. Also he adds some interesting rhythms (“Subdue”) that in this context can even be described as sort of groovy. The last third of the album is maybe the most impressive one. “Poised” is dark and glacial, Recondite telling us mysteries of desolation, yet a certain irritating elegance is hidden in the depths. On title track “Placid” the synths and beats are murky but there are also beautiful hints of light that some day may dispel the fog. The album ends with “Nifty”, a contrast of warm and cold elements, hypnotic beats and, at last, drops of acid falling on white ground. The Innuit have a hundred words for snow as Recondite has a hundred noises for ice. “Placid” is an impressive piece of music, virtuously produced and free from redundant ornaments. Recondite filtrates the acid to essential music (perfectly mirrored by Lisa Lydzius’ artwork) and gives us an album that should be listened to in full length. It even would make sense to mix the whole ten tracks into one long voyage heading for the north pole. Acid has come a long way. (Written by João Geck)   Interview with Recondite talking about his new album Placid, how he did get in touch with acid and other things. Questions by João Geck. Q: When it comes to finding descriptions for your (extremely good) new album “Placid” attributes as “melancholic” and even “fragile” appear to one’s mind, words you normally would not so much associate with techno music. What’s your idea behind searching for the ”saddest 303 ever” (to quote somebody, I actually forgot who)? A: thats a very good question which I asked myself especially after I got so much unexpected feedback for my very first album “On Acid”. Somehow the limitation of the instruments being used in the production process kind of concentrates my personal mood to the essence. Q: Placid‘ again deals with the acid thing. How did you get in touch with acid and what does it mean to you? And if you would tell us your top-three acid tracks we’d be very interested in that! A: There was no association to acid techno whatsoever before i heard the Donato Dozzy rmx of Tin Man’s track “Nonneo” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COTZGbcS5BQ) and honestly - I don’t even know any other Acid tracks out of the ones on “Acid Test”. I was immediately fascinated by everything in this track and I bought a 303 emulator and started working on my own version. Thats when the track “Harbinger” came out. That was my first acid track. Then, like 2 weeks after I finished this track, Oliver - the head of Absurd Rec./Acid Test (The label where the Tin Man acid is being released on and also the home to my acid productions) contacted me out of the blue and asked me if I wouldn’t want to contribute to his acid test series. 5 minutes later, I was like - here you go with the first track and from there we started this very smooth process of me delivering the music and him doing the best in hosting it. So that was kind of funny, special and organic. Q: Your first album ‘On Acid’ just got re-released on Acid Test. Where do you see the differences between ‘Placid’ and ‘On Acid’, two albums that seem to have a quite similar vibe and approach? A: Not too many differences. actually I have the feeling that many people appreciate it if I do not change at all musically. I mean of course I do and I will also change, but that doesn’t mean I wont also keep on doing what I did before at the same time if I m in the mood for it. “Placid” is a sequel to “On Acid”. There are 10 full tracks on the new LP. The first one only had 6 plus 2 rmxs by Scuba and Tin Man. So the new album has basically 12 tracks (incl. the pre EP with “Limber” and the club version of “Undulate”) Q: There were some critical responses to your last album “Iffy” saying it got a little too polished, too designed. Though I wouldn’t agree: is the very heartfelt and intuitive sounding ‘Placid’ kind of an answer to these critics? A: You can take it as an answer if you like and if it makes sense in you understanding of how an artist will develope , but in the end I don’t really care about the critics. I do what ever I want musically and as soon as I stop that I m dead. You ll see some Plangent Material soon too which sounds like from 4 years ago but is brand new. It s all about what I m in the mood for, and that HAS to be the prime directive. Everything else will fail emotionally eventually. Q: At last, the future: what are your plans and ambitions? A: There will be an Ambient/Classical/IDM/HipHop Album in fall 2016 which is almost done by now. I will take care of that in my (highly anticipated) off time in Januar/February 2016.  Also I have a couple of Club EPs finished. When I stop - I stop, but that time is not here yet ;). thanks for the interview. best, Lorenz Thank you. You can BUY Recondite - Placid, released on Acid Test HERE from whatpeopleplay.com.

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