Tag Archives: Moritz von Oswald

Moritz von Oswald trio – Horizontal Structures, Honest Jons Records

The trio of Moritz von Oswald, Max Loderbauer (NSI / Sun Electric) and Sasu Ripatti (Vladislav Delay / Luomo), with a third album, this time enriched and expanded by guitar contributions from Paul St Hilaire (also known as Tikiman), and double bass courtesy of Marc Muellbauer (via ECM).

Horizontal Structures is a more open, more expressive album than the previous studio recording, Vertical Ascent. There is more contrast, more light and shade. St Hilaire and Muellbauer add fresh drama and swing to the intimate tonal and rhythmic interactions of the core grouping. The coherence of the five-piece is remarkable; the boundary between accoustic and electronic undone. The group’s evolution is firmly signalled in the opener, Structure 1. There’s a lush, romantic quality to the playing and arrangement that we’ve not heard before: the guitar licks have a bluesy lilt, the bass imparts melody as well as physical presence, the synth sequences are more painterly, looser somehow, and Ripatti’s percussion roams feelingly. Structure 2 is like 70s spy-flick jazz or groove-heavy Krautrock stripped to its barest essence, Loderbauer and von Oswald’s electronics glistening in a sticky cobweb of reverb and delay. The languidly stepping Structure 3 faintly recalls von Oswald’s work with Mark Ernestus as Rhythm & Sound, with St Hilaire’s chords hanging thick above bone-dry drum machine drift. Lastly, Structure 4, the track structurally closest to techno, is pervaded by a sense of mischief, with Muellbauer’s strings — plucked, bowed, scraped — coming to the fore.For all its complexity, this is also a very playful album, and the Trio’s increased confidence and empathy as improvisers allow them to indulge flights of percussive fancy, sudden about-turns, vectors into the unknown. Horizontal Structures sounds, above all else, free.

Moritz von Oswald

Moritz von OswaldMoritz von Oswald. Moritz von Oswald, half of both Basic Channel and Maurizio, went on to become one of the most influential producers of techno music in the 1990s. In the 1980s he was percussionist for Palais Schaumburg, but would segue into electronic music by the late 80s and early 90s. He did this first in 2MB and 3MB (with Thomas Fehlmann), and later he co-founded the Basic Channel label with Mark Ernestus, whose various releases came to epitomize minimal techno. As part of the Berlin/Detroit axis, Basic Channel characterized minimal techno along with other artists like Rob Hood, Jeff Mills, Mike Banks, and UR. Living in Berlin, von Oswald was also part of a music scene that pivoted around the Tresor Club and record label, as well as Hard Wax, the record store founded by Ernestus. Basic Channel and Maurizio records are characterized by a 4×4 beats with dub-inflected syncopated synth pads slowly modulated over time, most 12″s containing tracks that take up the entire side of each record. Their work was highly influential for Richie Hawtin, Thomas Brinkmann, Robert Henke (aka Monolake), Wolfgang Voigt, and later through artists whose records were released on the label Chain Reaction Records, part of the Basic Channel family. His current work with Mark Ernestus as Rhythm & Sound fuses his interests in dub reggae and techno even further, where Jamaican vocalists sing or speak over stripped down techno beats and bass.

Website

Records:

Moritz von Oswald – Ole, Honest Jons Records

Moritz von Oswald – Ole, Honest Jons Records

Francois K  & Moritz von Oswald –  Berlin meets New York, Deutche Grammophon

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