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Matthew Shaw delivers an album of tribute, nostalgia and advances, with the electric poetry of Nachtmusik. Whereas with most albums forged with electronic instruments, the lack of passion can be a consequence of the method. Here however, Matthew places nuances and atmospheric sounds together, making a collage of emotion, that does not veer into a realm of monotony.
Nachtmusik follows the acclaim perfectly from Matthew’s Into The Unknown (January 2020). However, as the title suggests this is a release more soaked in the artists roots, acting as both a ‘thank you’ and homage to the late Florian Schneider. In fact, the spirit of the Kraftwerk maestro breathes throughout Nachtmusik, and it is an exceptionally passionate listen.
Opening with the dense motion of “Traummaschine”, an electric pulse begins, with exceptional weight and exuberance. The album shifts into the minimalist beating of “Nachtreisen”, which rises and echoes dramatically. With a savage example of vorsprung durch technik, the playfully bass loaded “Träumend” acts as a minii-soundtrack to our own concrete existence. But the talent of Mister Shaw is how he builds these atmospheres of tension, shown in “Die Stadt in der Nacht”, with a repetitive framework made supreme by a choral sound fading in and out.
Further into the album, the artists manages to keep the set on the right side of weirdness. There is nothing tongue-in-cheek here, it is an album of skill to respect an influence. With that, the overlapping beats of “Nachthimmel” is a joyous experience. With bass-fired drones that wrap themselves around the track making it breathtaking. With a slice of avant-garde, “Traumreise” begins with bird songs, perhaps signalling the dawn of a new day before the beats kick in to bring the audience on a journey.
Some moments, such as the quaking “Visionen” work well to bring the album in new directions. It is here you will feel that desire of Matthew to continue the adventures which Florian began. At times becoming reminiscent of The Man Machine, though extending the themes and not a facsimile. The flurry of notes that heralds “Nachtwandern” is a perfect ending to a record that displays a great talent in Matthew Shaw. Knowing it is a tribute does little to take from the brilliance on offer.
4.Die Stadt in der Nacht
5.Schlaf zu Fuß
8.Schau zu den Sternen
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