Gerd’s 2014 album really does want to take us on a journey, as he brings us five numbers where the shortest is more than 21 minutes long, with a total album length of more than 135 minutes. He states they were all recorded live, with the exception of “Landscape and Memory”, which was recorded live in Wiesbaden with the guitar later being added at home. The immediate reaction on hearing this that he is a fan of Tangerine Dream, with long repeated sequences which are built upon and layered. More progressive than ambient, there is definitely a foot in both camps with krautrock having an important part to play. I discovered this is music which has a dark side, an experimentation which takes it away from what normally expects and is far more challenging than I thought it might be and was consequently far more interesting.
The atmosphere builds, swells and recedes, and simple steps such as having “cymbals” flick between different speakers is very effective. I found there was no issue with keeping my attention on the music, even though all the tracks are incredible lengthy, and while in many ways the constructs are quite simple it is also complex in its reach and approach. The journey is an interesting one, with some interesting side paths and uphill challenges, and while not for everyone, is one I am glad I went on. Fans of keyboard soundscapes may well find this intriguing.
6/10 Kev Rowland