Arp: "The Soft Wave" 2010-06-25 11:30:31
Some correspondence over the past week or so regarding The Alps, whose new album I must admit I’m yet to hear: the last one was pretty cool, something like a kind of psychedelicised Air, if I remember right.
During the exchange, though, I was heavily recommending one of the Alps’ solo project, Arp. Alexis Georgopoulos made an album in 2007 called “In Light”, a terrific early runner in what’s become a quietly expansive kosmische revival.
Serendipitously, a new Arp album turned up from Smalltown Supersound a couple of days ago, and it’s fantastic, too. While a lot of the more acclaimed artists in this new kosmische/ambient thing seem to have emerged from a noise background and privilege a fair amount of ‘80s sci-fi chicanery – I’m thinking specifically Oneohtrix Point Never andEmeralds – Arp are part of a more pastoral wing, whose roots lie deep in the ‘70s German countryside.
Somewhere near Forst, perhaps, since, crudely, “The Soft Wave” runs the whole gamut of influences from Cluster toHarmonia, with a radical departure into the realm of Eno to change things up a little. It’s not the most original album I’ve heard over the past few months – “From A Balcony Overlooking The Sea” moves beyond being influenced by “Another Green World”-era Eno, towards a transparent, albeit exquisite, homage.
But it is quite lovely, a meticulous re-realisation of the percolating landscape music that Cluster perfected around “Sowiesoso”, and onwards through Harmonia (“High Life”, in particular, has a saturated line that recalls Michael Rother’s melodic sensibilities, if not explicitly his guitar playing). The odd drift of piano (on “Catch Wave”, say) also recalls some ofRoedelius’ later solo work, not least “Lustwandel”, which fortuitously turned up on reissue the other day.
At times, the gentle persistence of this music echoes that of The Alps (“Alfa (Dusted)” in particular). But from the opening and explanatory “Pastoral Symphony”, this is a real keeper – wouldn’t mind hearing the “Pastoral Symphony” remix byEtienne Jaumet, either.