Neu Gestalt "Altered Carbon" CD
November 2008 marked the debut album of Neu Gestalt for Alex Tronic Records, both based in Edinburgh, Scotland. "Between Her Dreams" is leaded by dreamy, evocative washes, which are delicately supported here and there by slowly swirling pulses and crystalline glitches and hisses, all masterfully blanketed by warmly languid cinematic nostalgia. "Glyph" is slightly more dynamic with fragile, bubbling and bleeping effects, relaxing mid-tempo melodies and expressively blooming drifts. Welcome to the lush sonic garden of Les Scott, the sole protagonist of Neu Gestalt!!! "Convergence" is slightly more minimal moodscape, yet still packed with broad palette of gently flickering escapades. "Artefact" integrates again more active beats, hauntingly melted with glitchy ingredients and vivid piano and synthetic textures. "Fissure" dives at the beginning into rather mysterious terrains, but soon some minimal, cyber-tech noises backed by warmer washes take the lead. The next piece, "Frozen Ground", comes with razor sharp synthetic rhythms that steal the show, I love so much these vibrant vintage sequences, warmly inviting and fully entertaining composition, attractively assembled with polished details, definitely one of my fave on this journey!!! The title composition "Altered Carbon" comes directly out of the cybernetic lab with fragilely lucid pulses and hisses wrapped by hypnotic atmo zones. "Trace Elements" unfold with cinematic washes and soon cascade into smooth, beat-infused terrains, always surrounded by crackles and nostalgic moments. Catchy electro beats take "Levitation" into the most active phase reminiscent of old EM school with some catchy, soft EBM elements thrown in. A really nice piece!!! It awakened some of my long-burried memories. "Conduit" keeps on the road influenced by German electronic pioneers of the 70's and 80's and precisely unites briskly pulsing beats with expanding aerial panoramas. "Within Reach" attracts with quite strange and unique texture featuring also some wave sounds, which originate according to the liner notes far from any shores. A very relaxing composition!!! "Paradigm Shift" remains in these sedative territories with sparse pulses and glitches and warmly spreading electronics and piano, evoking gorgeously cinematic landscapes. Pleasantly immersing!!! "Mars Talks Of Rain" enters into more minimal, cyberscaping realms with pristine sound effects and gently pulsing and swirling high-tech gurgles. Deeply effective and hypnotic!!! The closing "Fissure (Reprise)" with its soothing cyber-tech elements provides a very decent and tranquil outro. Les Scott is not only a skilled sound sculptor, but also a highly crafted visual artist. Stunning images and extensive sleeve notes on 8-panel foldout insert, detailing some creative processes of making music, are another bonus here, together with top-notch sound quality. "Altered Carbon" is moody atmospheric electronica at its finest showcasing the big potential of its creator!!! To me, Neu Gestalt is one of the hidden pearls of the ambient electronica realms!!!
Richard Gürtler (Jul 15, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)