from 'Foray' [CD|LP|DIGITAL]
Denovali Records · den244
available on all formats at [http://denovali.com/subheim]
Berlin-based musician Subheim composes deep electronic music with acoustic elements. His work is a collage of field recordings, slow evolving drum beats, hypnotic melodies and echoing voices. Drawing from a wide spectrum of genres and influences, from ambient, drone and post-rock to downtempo, lofi, trip hop and even techno, his sonic journeys are there for cold nights, for long train rides, for one to sink into during or after the storm, for the sleepless and the loners.
Subheim's third album, Foray, is not for the faint-hearted. An attentively crafted LP with emphasis upon clarity and enveloping warmth, Foray is driven by a progressive subtlety, yet supported by an underbelly of sometimes forlorn, and at other times, disturbing emotion. Moving away from the orchestral ensembles and soundtrack explorations of his second album, Subheim pursues a more minimal approach, taking a much darker turn to deep ambient textures blended with the added realism of field recordings.
Foray opens with Bitter, a concoction of wounded cello and illusory vocal recordings: and here we begin an introspective journey. From the sparse beauty of Alone's isolated piano to the aggressive ambience of techno-driven Arktos, we witness Subheim exploring new and diverse musical territories. Red Ridge, with its trip-hop feel, steers the listener through unsuspecting harmonic twists and saturated synth pads reminiscent of twentieth century dystopian film. Much of the material, sourced from heavy experimentation with instrumental, percussive and vocal sampling, remains recognisably Subheim in its core elements including his signature sustains, Middle-Eastern sounds and heavy reverberation.
Foray is an urban album for winter listening, for loners and for night walks; for immersing oneself in melancholic thought and travelling through uninhabited barren landscapes. There is an underlying and disconcertingly familiar warmth crawling beneath its skin, pulling you forward into its musical arms, yet taking you to a place you'd rather not be.
Subheim has created an emotionally charged selection of works: driven, distant and constantly thought-provoking.