‘Licht Und Schatten’ is the latest work from Germany’s Field Rotation, serving both as a suitable introduction to the work of Christoph Berg and a precursor to his next album on the Fluid Audio label in 2010.
This release consists of seven tracks, not necessarily the easiest to define because Berg slides gently sideways through the gentler aspects of electronica. His arrangements are expansive frameworks allowing him room to weave discrete melodies and percussion within the tracks.
“Polaricht’ is a prime example mixing a brooding wall of bottom end sound with the lightest touches of string and pad interspersed with ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ glitch sounds and reverb laden piano. From this point inwards the listener becomes immersed in a a world of pieces which entwine elements of classical composition, stark electronics and futuristic film soundtracks.
Snippets of John Carpenter style tension punctuate the tracks while elsewhere Berg teases the listener with more traditional aspects of downtempo material (the shuffling dry beat)but he doesn’t allow these aspects to overstay their welcome (particularly on ‘Tiefflug’) thus keeping with the album’s sense of originality. The melancholy and sombre mood of the earlier tracks begins to lift as the album moves to a close (making the title all more appropriate).
The final track ‘Schlafwandler’ becomes one of the most evocative with a bright backwash of sound and a warm meandering acoustic guitar mingling with field recorded footsteps. I suppose if you were looking for a metaphor it would signify the completion of a journey from night to morning (or something..cough). Either way it’s an impressive end to a very accomplished album.
Also worth noting is the limited edition packaging for the release which consists of a hand stitched fabric sleeve which will be available to those who get in early. A nice touch which you don’t see that often these days.