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New album of cosmic German sounds from Marcus Wogull and Danilo Plessow (MCDE) on Kompakt Records.

 

180g LP + 7 inch + CD + sticker (although mine was missing :( ).

 

kompakt293-vermont.jpg

 

 

 

With an artist roster as prolific and well-established as Kompakt's, you won't find much downtime that could be used for new entries to the catalogue. That's why we are especially happy to not only present the inaugurating full-length of VERMONT, but also introduce two distinguished producers to the fold that have built their impressive careers in our immediate vicinity, albeit appearing on the label for the very first time: Innervisions' MARCUS WORGULL and DANILO PLESSOW (of MOTOR CITY DRUM ENSEMBLE fame), two floor familiars praised for their gripping club tunes that showcase a surprisingly unwound and novel side to their respective artist personas.

With VERMONT, MARCUS WORGULL and DANILO PLESSOW submit a noticeably mature work that seems to come from a well attuned production duo, effectively concealing the fact that this is their first collaborative effort... and a decidedly informal one at that: these cuts were not conceived with specific aesthetic goals in mind, but emerged from a series of loose jam sessions disclosing the trespassing spirit of the sonic adventurer. It's in the sanctum of Danilo's former Cologne studio, surrounded by an armada of vintage analogue synthesizers, that the two music buffs somewhat inadvertently tapped into the city's collective subconsciousness and minted fourteen sleek soundscapes of almost krautrockish proportions.

Exhibiting high amounts of arpeggiated curiosity and following a factual no-sampling policy, tracks like wonderstruck opener YAIZA, undulating bleepfest DYNAMIK, the cinematic

ELEKTRON or ambient ballad MAJESTÄT are immersed in the enticing allure of freeform sequencing, even deciding to forego the full-blown percussion kits we've come to love in the two producers' main bodies of work. The restricted rhythmic pallet pays off extraordinarily well, as can be heard in the rich, breathing textures of KATZENJAMMER, DROIXHE or EBBE: if inclined to do so, one could label them as introspective synth poems, albeit with a strong sense for structure and dramaturgy that speaks volumes about the musical kinship of their originators - with or without drums.

With this kind of sonic DNA running in their systems, it should come as no surprise that Marcus and Danilo enlisted the help of luminaries DOMINIK VON SENGER (guitar on SHARAV, COCOS and MONTAG) and JAKI LIEBEZEIT (drums/percussion on COCOS and MACCHINA), two key figures of Cologne's krautrock scene - the former as guitarist with underground mainstays Dunkelziffer and Phantom Band, the latter as drummer for seminal pioneers Can. Further contributions come from Irish musician DERMOT O'MAHONY (violin on ÜBERSPRUNG) and Cologne agent provocateur LENA WILLIKENS (theremin on LITHIUM), two welcome additions to the sound of VERMONT: a sound that manages to be outstandingly soothing and inexplicably stirring at the same time, probably one of the rarest feats in electronic music today.


Review from XLR8R:-

 

 

 

The self-titled debut release from Vermont—a collaboration between Danilo Plessow (a.k.a. Motor City Drum Ensemble) and Innervisions affiliate Marcus Worgull—is one of 2014's most pleasant electronic offerings so far; it's also something of a surprise. Shedding almost every recognizable bit of its creators' usual dancefloor inclinations,Vermont finds Plessow and Worgull crafting an album full of exploratory electronics and Kraut-indebted synth adventures that proves both producers' talents reach well beyond the club.

In its accompanying literature, Vermont is said to have "emerged from a series of loose jam sessions" that took place in Plessow's former Cologne studio. This approach quickly reveals itself with bubbly opener "Droixhe," which feels like being dropped off in the middle of one such jam. That said, Vermont never seems rough where it shouldn't be or sloppy simply for the sake of it. This is likely because some after-the-fact editing and overdubbing has been used to enhance these "loose jams," most notably on songs like the floating "Sharav" and album closer "Montag," which incorporates tasteful bursts from Cologne guitarist Dominik Von Seger into the mix.

A number of other guest musicians make appearances on Vermont, helping to add sonic variety to what is otherwise a solely electronic palette. The most notable artist to lend a hand is Jaki Liebezeit, former drummer for Krautrock luminaries CAN, who adds layers of live percussion to the aforementioned "Conos" and the slow-bobbing "Macchina." It's a testament to Vermont's abilities that these contributors can blend in to the proceedings so effortlessly; one might expect the presence of a violin or e-bowed guitar to stick out against the hardware electronics which define the album, but the loose structure of its jams seems to invite tasteful experimentation from outsiders.

One of the most surprising aspects of this LP is just how at home the members of Vermont sound when operating in this corner of the electronic music spectrum. Tracks like album standout "Übersprung" and—to a lesser degree—spacey but cooly soulful excursions such as "Rückzug" and "Sharav," are the only cuts that could somewhat be traced back to Plessow's and Worgull's more established bodies of work, and even these selections are still largely beatless and feature arrangements full of inventive twists and turns. The two producers may be stepping outside of their comfort zone with Vermont, but they certainly haven't stepped outside of their depth.

As hard as it was to anticipate the sound of Vermont, considering the producers behind the project, its success is far less of a surprise. Together, Plessow and Worgull have crafted an LP that honors the decades-old tradition of Krautrock and freeform synth compositions without co-opting those genres' calling cards. Vermont is a record that simply sounds like its producers doing exactly what they wanted to do without worry of outside opinion. (The meow-featuring "Katzenjammer" might be the best example of this.) Fortunately, the results are both easily enjoyable and unexpectedly refreshing.

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