Review and Interview: Roman Flügel – All The Right Noises (Dial)

Review and Interview: Roman Flügel – All The Right Noises (Dial)
For about 20 years now there’s a constant stream of music coming from Frankfurt man Roman Flügel and it’s sometimes hard to believe how diverse and consistently interesting his output has always been and still is. From Killer Techno (as Alter Ego with Jörn Elling Wuttke (remember rave classics “Betty Ford” or “Rocker”)) to contorted Electronica (as Sensorama, again with Jörn Elling Wuttke) and more unbound stuff (as Eight Miles High) Flügel tried out things and is, whether he likes it or not, an important part of modern electronic musics history. Now Roman Flügel comes up with a new album called “All The Right Noises” (released on Dial) and, even with the tons of good work he did, it might be his best so far (he seems to agree as you can read in the interview below). “All The Right Noises” doesn’t punch you in the face immediately, it sinks in in a calm and subtle way with a lot of tracks being ambient (if you like to classify) or downtempo; even the uptempo tracks stay miles away from peak time Techno and rave horns (they definitely have an odd dance floor potential though). The album leaves an amazing impression of lightness and transparence yet also a certain distance and is characterized by a carefully considered and executed reduction of sounds and structures, if you’re into clichés you might call it ‘focusing on essentials’. In fact, if you’re searching for a weak or redundant second you won’t find one. “All The Right Noises” begins with a beatless aurora named “Fantasy” and the harmonious softness of “The Mighty Suns”, gracefully illustrating the mentioned approach of reduction, then tracks like “Dead Idols” or “Warm And Dewy” increase the tempo and bring on a more or less straight beat without, as said before, focusing too much on club suitability. So “Warm And Dewy” comes up with whirling groove patterns and floating melodies but is not about euphoria and immediacy, it’s still kind of discreet. And it’s a good example for Flügel working with  both seriousness and playfulness to make a complex entity sound natural. The brilliant “Dust” with its mechanical beats seems (and that’s nothing new in Flügels work) to be inspired by Kraftwerk, it’s a Trans-Hessian-Express charged with romanticism and chiselled elegance and driven by almost blindingly lucid synthesizer melodies, evoking images of movement and progression. “Planet Zorg” heads in the same direction with it’s elegiac synth harmonies that have a timeless Europa Endlos-feel of Sphärenmusik similar to Harmonia and kindred spirits. But Flügel is far from just quoting or imitating music from back then, the whole idea of “All The Right Noises” appears as absolutely independent and has a universal approach, it just shares a vision of open space and concentrated optimism, intimate and self-sufficient, both far away and next door. And while listening to this music, being so confident and compelling, you get the weird feeling that it actually is familiar since childhood, something that necessarily has to be existent. The title track, a placidly meandering synergy of clicking rhythms and hazy harmonies, is also one of the albums highlights. It generates a deepness and warmth you won’t find too often and creates a space for contemplation. If you want to. So in the end “All The Right Noises” is a fantastic record that leaves you impressed and amazed, outstanding for Roman Flügel and also Dial who both released such a lot of great music and is easily one of the best albums this year. I usually shy away from saying it but this one’s a must. Written by João Geck   Interview with Roman Flügel about his new album, Anne Imhof and communication.  Questions by João Geck.   _e9b9502   Q: To me "All The Right Noises", your new (and indeed sublime) album, appears to be, well, maybe not more experimental but more reduced and free-form than your last releases and has a quite intimate feel of certain easiness to it. What do you want to express with "All The Right Noises" and why does it sound the way it does? A: Artistic freedom has always been a profound part of my work and there shouldn’t be any boundaries when I’m in the studio. But it’s a constant process to actually do so and to get rid of compliant patterns is sometimes not easy. ‘All The Right Noises’ is even less rooted to dance floors then the last two albums. The lack or at least reduction of rhythm tracks plus simplicity gives the mind the ability to breath. Q: Though the album very much illustrates your own distinct way of producing: are there any other artists (not necessarily musicians) you would name as influences or source of inspiration for "All The Right Noises"? A: No one is really on their own since our memories play a major part during the construction of our selves. I find the artistic work of Anne Imhof very inspiring. Luckily I was able to get her on board and she provided a few images for the artwork of “All The Right Noises”.  Q: Are there any specific situations or spaces this album is made or intended for? And does it especially interest you how people listen to and understand your music? A: Not really. I better leave it to the listener and I have no intensions whatsoever to dictate anyone how to consume my music. As soon the music is made public there is no way to control opinions anyway and I guess that’s a very vital part of being a recording artist.  Q: "All The Right Noises" is your third album for Dial in five years. As your sound fits the label very well, Dial from the outside seems like an obvious choice but how do you yourself see Dial and what’s important about a label for you in general? A: David Lieske and Peter Kersten who run Dial have always been very supportive since I decided to work with them. I feel like my work is in good hands and everything important such as sound and artwork is taken care of in a nice and natural way. As A & R’s they have no problem in letting the artist know their favourites when you send them a demo, which can also help.  Q: Over the years you obviously released quite a lot of records with quite a lot of styles under quite a lot of names. Where would you place "All The Right Noises" in your oeuvre? And what keeps you going? A: Right now I think it’s my best album so far. I feel pretty certain about the overall feel and I even enjoy listening to it quite often on my own which is not necessarily the case when I’ve finished something. The music leaves enough space for the listeners associations since it’s hard to pigeon-hole. I still like making and recording music so much because it gives me the opportunity to communicate on another level. I’m more a kind of a reserved person and releasing music is a fantastic way to overcome my part time isolation at least sometimes.  Thank you!   You can BUY Roman Flügel - All The Right Noises, released on Dial HERE from whatpeopleplay.com.

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