"Evening begins to fall. Outside it's dark. In the glow of a small lamp or maybe the street lights, people are sitting at the window telling stories. This hour is called >Dunkelstunde<, literally >Dark-hour<. Level Pi's new album tells seven of these >Dunkestundegeschichten<. Stories of ships in deep space, tales about absent friends, mystic dreams or serious stories. Finding their musical home somewhere between Berlin School EM and rock, they are revealed through classic Moog sounds, modern electronics, organ, bass, drums and electric guitars."
This is the description that accompanies the latest CD "Dunkelstunde" of Level Pi, aka Uwe Cremer. Without doubt, this work is a masterpiece of progressive music, mixing virtuoso electric guitar themes confined in psychedelic electronic sounds. Be surprised and engaged when listening to these stories written in euphonious noise. Compositions and arrangements are remarkably attuned, yet embedded with interludes of dissonance giving a feeling of immediate tension which is often resolved with a `Floydesque' electric guitar. This is simply awesome.
The intro song Winter-evening or `Winterabend' tells the first story and sets the scene for the remaining musical narratives, fusing flavours of Pink Floyd and Klaus Schulze together with the brilliance of Level Pi.
Outer space in a Perry Rhodan universe awaits in the subsequent track `Der Flug des Fernraumschiffs' which can be translated as `The flight of the deep space ship'. After boarding and take-off we are travelling on scintillating electronic waves, perfectly attuned to rhythmic percussions before being accompanied by a sweeping guitar.
With the sound of outer space still resonating we are told the story of `Absent Friends' giving way to the nostalgic blues of memories. Trembling discords dissolve in a weeping guitar-play released by a strapping rhythm guitar before a sorrowful synthesizer gives way to the weeping guitar once more. Very powerful.
`Das Versteck' translates as `The hideout' and it is arguably the strongest track on this record. We are gently thrown into a void of nothing but electromagnetic waves, and land into a virtual dreamscape of escalating synthesizers and percussions when finally a tremendously melancholic but liberating guitar-play emerges. Unbelievable.
Crackling noise of a needle on vinyl introduces `Orange Temple' and is replaced by powerful drum play with the familiar sound of a Moog in the background. Screeching lead guitar perforates the dark soundscape of accelerating drums and electronic sounds. This is very convincing stuff and by now everybody should be enthralled by this amazing album.
The chance discovery of an ethereal utopia where the people lead an ideal existence in harmony with nature was told by Tao Yuanming in 421 in the fable `The Peach Blossom Land'. This fable is recounted in `Tougenkyou' introduced to us with an eclectic blend of aerial synths which captures the mood of the fable wonderfully only to culminate in an antithesis of strong guitar play. Splendid.
Finally we are disturbingly discharged by the captivating sounds and reverberations of `Dunkelstunde', the last track. Outstanding drum play supplements the strong rhythmic guitar play. Excellent - maybe this is the best track? You decide!
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