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[www.adequacy.net]

 

Sankt Otten : Wunden Gibt Es Immer Wieder

As a designer, I understand and appreciate the use of white space. This might be the white of paper in print or the blank, unbuilt areas of a place. Space helps provide balance to whatever medium you are working in, whether its creating physical space or even emotional or mental space. The key though, is to find that perfect balance between space and art and it is this harmony that is so difficult to achieve.

The German duo, Sankt Otten, doesnt create music but rather emotional art of the electronic noir sort. Taschensymphonie creeps into the air like a rising sun, opening the scene. Full of wondrous distortion and multiple layers, the notes call to you like a glimmer over the hillside. It beckons you, heightening your curiosity, to continue your journey forward. It is the opening credits and the introduction. The title track follows and builds upon the base layers with a beat, keyboards and guitar that wrap around like a warm, fuzzy blanket fresh out of the dryer. You see the glimmer and you are filled with happiness and joy but you dont fully understand why. It doesnt matter.

Silence falls and a few simple piano chords echo through the distance. The light is beginning to fade, but not completely. Something is happening but only your own thoughts can fill in the blanks here. This is your own personal journey to wherever it is that you are trying to go.

Der Groove Des Guten Gewissens is filled with electronic strings and plinking piano notes. Obstacles are beginning to reveal themselves. Even with the simplicity of the song, there are wonderful details like how the music stops about a minute and a half in and leaves an open space for a few simple piano strokes as if at an impasse. Auf Suende Folgt Strafe is fit for those winter days when the light sits somewhere between night and day, where a kind indescribable gray hangs in the sky. A brushed beat pushes the song forward while layers of guitar hover around, pierced only by a few piano chords and stray notes that create a distinct uneasiness. While the energy remains low, the beat pushes forward, providing a sense of fear like hiding from something while simultaneously trying to get away.

One of my favorite tracks, aside from the shining title track, is one that is almost the exact opposite. Depressive Elite opens with the sound of sensual base notes that take on the storyline. Later a few keyboard notes are followed by a jittery guitar. You're tired and weary from at this point, beginning to lose hope. This song borders on blues and reminds me of my favorite bands in this genre, Grails, who are masters in the art of creating emotional journeys through sound. It is so simple, just a few notes and yet it conjures up amazing visions. Here is some of that balance I was talking about earlier. So simple and yet so amazingly powerful.

After the long journey, you reach the glimmer. Stille Wasser has that feeling of contentment that, through all of the heartbreak and things put in your path to throw you off course, you have managed to reach your goal. The light is shining again and you are happy.

Sankt Otten has indeed performed a wondrous feat in finding that point in which simplicity equals beauty and the harmony between music and space has found the perfect balance. Its like standing in front of a piece of art that is so captivating and yet so simple that you cant look away. Its mesmerizing, beautiful and yet dark and desperate at the same time. The latest album from Sankt Otten, Wunden Gibt Es Immer Wieder is the soundtrack to your thoughts, packed full of dramatic sequences and riveting sensory visions. This is one of the best albums Ive heard this year that, unfortunately, came to my attention too late to be included in my top 10 list this year.

Lisa Town // 12/20/07 // www.adequacy.net

25-07-2008
[www.angryape.com]

 

Sankt Otten :  Wunden Gibt Es Immer Wieder / Single
[Hidden Shoal Recordings]

Mysterious German collective Sankt Otten return with a taster for their forthcoming album (due in December). The brainchild of percussionist Stephan Otten, "Wunden gibt es immer wieder" sees Sankt Otten stray from the sound on their devastatingly good "Wir koennen ja Freunde bleiben" album. The noir style constructed on their Hidden Shoal Recordings debut led to comparisons with Portishead, but on "Wunden..." we find Sankt Otten are in an uplifting mood

It gets straight to the point and is introduced by flourishing waves of cinematic strings and robust, mechanical percussion. But, just like their peers, Sankt Otten are dab hands at this sort of business and know exactly when to pile on the drama. As the synth backdrop intensifies, it is vaguely reminiscent of a titanic foghorn, while guitarist Oliver Klemm ensures his precise playing is never dominated by the luxuriant strings. It all ends on a gorgeous note as the band layer Disney-esque harpsichord ripples across the mix.

If "Wunden " represents Sankt Otten's euphoric nature, then B-side "Wandertag" is the composition that ensures they still have one foot firmly rooted in the dark, film-noir mystery that so defined their previous album. Guitarist Klemm truly shines here, plotting his subtle tones around a darkwave setting and militaristic percussion. It's the sort of track that needs to be soundtracking the next Hollywood espionage blockbuster

 

Published Wednesday, 31st October, 2007 at 4:48 PM
Written by Michael Henaghan

25-07-2008
[www.angryape.com]

 

Sankt Otten : Wunden Gibt Es Immer Wieder / Album

After their Wunden Gibt Es Immer Wieder single last month, German cinematic pop outfit Sankt Otten have just released their album of the same name this week via Hidden Shoal Recordings.

The album will see an initial digital release, before being followed by a CD issue in 2008. Speaking of the album, the label say:

"Over its eleven instrumental tracks the album presents such an immensely crafted and expansive landscape. Wunden Gibt Es Immer Wieder is a slow burning, intensely orchestrated piece of maximalist minimalism."

 

 

Published Tuesday, 11th December, 2007 at 4:45 PM

25-07-2008
[www.neue-oz.de]

 

Musik aus Osnabrück in Australien

Über Präsenz in Australien können sich vermutlich nur wenige Osnabrücker Bands freuen. Dem Duo Sankt Otten wurde diese Ehre nun zuteil: Via Internet verbreitete sich die Musik dorthin, und jetzt hat das dort ansässige Label Hidden Shoal Recordings das Album "Wunden gibt es immer wieder" veröffentlicht.

Der Kontakt zu dem australischen Label kam über das Internet-Portal MySpace zustande, wo Sankt Otten seit zweieinhalb Jahren vertreten sind. Dort haben sie auch die italienische Designerin Violeta kennengelernt, die das Cover des neuen Albums gestaltet hat.

Die Musik der Osnabrücker ist schwermütig, atmosphärisch und voller Momente der Schönheit. Eine Einschätzung, die Stephan Otten stutzen lässt. "Wir können nicht anders", sagt Otten, der zusammen mit dem Pendikel-Gitarristen Oliver Klemm das Duo Sankt Otten bildet.

Obwohl zum größten Teil am Computer produziert, besitzt die Musik von Sankt Otten Seele und Romantik. "Ich sehe unsere Musik als eine Art Soundtrack, um Landschaftsbilder zu vertonen. Das passt zu Bergen, Weite und - ja - zu Hirschgeweihen", erklärt Stephan Otten.

 

Neue OZ online - 22.12.2007, 11:35 Uhr    
Ressort / Ausgabe: Feuilleton
Veröffentlicht am: 22.12.2007
tw Osnabrück.

25-07-2008
[www.lunakafe.com]

 

Sankt Otten
Wunden Gibt Es Immer Wieder/ Single

 


Hidden Shoal Recordings

German Sankt Otten is a way cool duo. File under: Blissful, gliding, instrumental pop electronica. Password: melancholia. Access. Listen. And enjoy.

When Tim reviewed their debut album, Wir koennen ja Freunde bleiben, he wrote: "In short, Sankt Otten make the kind of music that sends film reels spinning in my head, and is ideal for driving around cities to, especially if you're wearing a trenchcoat, smoking a cigar, and are just about to meet up with a ballet dancer called Helga who needs rescuing from cornflake-eating robots from outer space..."

The Osnabrueck, Niedersachsen twosome (Stephan Otten on drums/sampling/programming and Oliver Klemm on guitar/keys) make pretty fantastic music. Their floating, hovering melodies radiates with beauty and elegance. "Wunden Gibt Es Immer Wieder" is a foretaste from their new album (of the same title). "Wandertag" is not much different from its "A side" companion. Good, but maybe not as ace as "Wunden Gibt...".

This is dream music for being awake. Get hypnotized.

 

Copyright © 2007 Håvard Oppøyen

25-07-2008
[www.nowlikephotographs.com]

 

Record of the Week for 2007 -  30/12/ 2007 / Radio K in Minneapolis

Sankt Otten
Wunden Gibt Es Immer Wieder 

Hidden Shoal Recordings

The always consistent digital label Hidden Shoal bring us the final Instrumental Record of the Week for 2007. From Germany, the kraut influence is slight in Sankt Otten's more confident sophomore effort, but stll sets their brand of soft cinematic music apart from their bland contemporaries. The tone is varied too, from weepy to creepy, you're only getting a glance of this symphonic hypnotic masterpiece on the podcast.


 

www.nowlikephotographs.com/lists/recordsoftheweek2007.html

25-07-2008
[Westzeit]

 

SANKT OTTEN - Wunden gibt es immer wieder


Globalisierung, Baby: Deutsches Duo auf australischem Label. Mir waren Stephan Otten und Oliver Klemm zu Eleganz-Zeiten ja irgendwie suspekt. Zu schlau und zu halbwitzig. Ihren gewöhnungsbedürftigen Humor haben die beiden nun dankenswerter Weise auf die Titulierung der 11 ansonsten streng instrumentalen Stücke beschränkt. Dafür zaubern sie in ziemlich beeindruckender Manier zarte Ambientelektroniken aus den Jackentaschen und entlocken ihren Maschinen schwermütig-zärtliche Kleinodien, lassen auch sanftmütige Gitarren und sogar einen Kontrabass (Andreas Müller als Gast) hinzutreten. Hat also doch was Gutes, diese Globalisierung.

© 01. Februar 2008  WESTZEIT ||| Text: Karsten Zimalla

25-07-2008
[www.sonicfrontiers.net]

 

 

Sankt Otten

Wunden Gibt Es Immer Wieder

Undeniably pleasant, frustratingly short-lived

 Just a single E-bow drone opens up the first track on Wunden Gibt Es Immer Wieder. As it begins to rise in volume, the sound of delay-soaked keys and swarms of strings gently colour in the rest of the audio space, adopting a two-chord melody to carry the piece forward. Taschensymphonie is a warming three minutes, guiding the tentative listener into its graceful soundscape, allowing dynamics to drop and rise with a very natural, reassuring predictability.

And with this track, the tone of Sankt Ottens latest release is set. It doesnt challenge the listener; fully ingestible on first listen, with the melodies remaining fairly safe and conservative throughout. However, theres a certain charm about this welcoming aspect. Its the sound of home unadventurous and cautious, yet it invites the listener into a state of calm, and never ceases to be sweet on the ears.

Instruments are intelligently chosen, allowing individual textures to melt together and interact effortlessly. The combination of acoustic and electronic percussion works a treat, forming rigid rhythms for the listener to cling onto whilst the instrumental, free-flowing ambience creates an array of delicate harmonies over the top. The title track is a perfect example of this; consisting of stream of dancing violin trills, tethered to a constant, wooden beat.

However, I can imagine that some people will be crying out for this album to throw a few surprises, and shake up the serenity for just a split second. Song climaxes and chord changes are just too easily foreseen, and although there is the aforementioned appeal of something so hesitant and play-it-safe, it isnt long before this starts to wear off.

Initially, Wunden Gibt Es Immer Wieder is powerful emotional engrossment, consistently conveying an intense, melancholic honesty throughout its playing time. The trouble comes when you inevitably begin to crave something outside of your comfort zone; after which there is little Sankt Otten can do for you.

 

Reviewer: Jack Chuter
Added: January 19th 2008

25-07-2008
[Luna Kafé e-zine :]

 

Once tagged by the German music press as the 'German Portishead' (which isn't quite accurate, but...Sankt Otten has drawn inspiration from Portishead, as well as the compositions of Ennio Morricone, John Barry, David Holmes and Talk Talk), Sankt Otten might be Germany's finest act with their blissful electronic soundscapes. Wunden Gibt Es Immer Wieder is their second album for Hidden Shoal.

Sankt Otten is a duo. Stephan Otten (piano) and Oliver Klemm (guitar) create and perform delicate and minimalist instrumental ambient moods, with a certain cinematic (noir and melancholic) framework and grading. Germany has "always" been like the home country for experimental/avant-garde/noise/electronic bands - the 'kraut-rock' tag. There's a long line going through Amon Düül, Tangerine Dream, Faust, Kraftwerk, Neu!, Can, Einstürzende Neubauten to name some from the late 60s to near present. Some of Sankt Otten's contemporaries are Ms. John Soda, Bohren und der Club of Gore, Lali Puna, Jumpel, The Notwist, Tarwater and To Rococo Rot, and even though the 'kraut-rock' label might not be used maybe 'kraut-pop' or 'kraut-something'. Maybe Krautronica?

Wunden Gibt Es Immer Wieder is an amazingly graceful piece of work. The title track and single "Wunden Gibt Es Immer Wieder" is a top ace, along with "Der Groove Des Guten Gewissens" and "Analoge Bohème" to name a few. The closing "Stille Wasser" is as beautiful, peaceful and soothing as quiet waters can be.

 

 

 

www.lunakafe.com/moon139/de139.php

25-07-2008
[www.lostatsea.net]

 

 

 The music of German duo Sankt Otten is synonymous with water. It is awash with trickling guitars, shimmering keys and gently lapping bass pulses, its chords swelling like flooded rivers and quietly receding like ocean tides. When, toward the end of the first half of Wunden Gibt Es Immer Wieder, an earthy riff creeps through the mix, it makes for a complacency-shattering jolt; amidst all the liquid sloshing around the record, the band's second for Western Australian label Hidden Shoal Recordings, that bass, a solid, dirty intrusion on the pristine "Die Unvernueftigen Sterben Aus," is a rude disturbance to the record's languid drift. But any hope inspired turns out to be false - that bass line wanders through a few slow and apparently purposeless repetitions before inelegantly departing - but the moment of tangibility is a welcome detour away from the too-pervasive aural mist.

There is a German saying "Stille Wasser sind tief," or, as it is rendered in English: Still waters run deep. Such seems to be the hope of Sankt Otten (indeed, the final track on this album is titled "Stille Wasser"), that out of the band's sinuous textures will emerge some entrancing beauty, a moment of loveliness to justify the languid approach. But more often, Wunden Gibt Es Immer Wieder stagnates itself in tepidity, that other trait of still water.

Which is not to say that there is nothing of worth to be found in the band's sodden instrumentals. "Taschensymphonie" is a beautiful wisp of a song, begging to be followed by something a little more substantial that can build on its yawning grace. The mid-tempo, slightly off-kilter drum figures of the title track arrive instead, and the result is a damp shuffle. These instrumentals lack the compelling dramatics of Mogwai, and are too indistinct to approach the gorgeousness of, say, Sigur Rós. And when Sankt Otten fails to find transcendence, the results seem bereft of inspiration. "Festplattenliebling" is built on queasy piano chords that strut and fret for three minutes before the band abandons them altogether, while "Auf Suende Folgt Strafe" places a meandering guitar progression over a jazzy shuffle and, in short order, yields to aimlessness. Far more interesting is "Der Groove Des Guten Gewissens," which, with its foreboding strings and ominous piano breakdown demonstrates actual progression and dynamics.

Sankt Otten's greatest strength is its immaculate attention to textural detail. On rare occasion, that alone is enough; see, for instance, the vaguely country guitar that penetrates "Depressive Elite." But if timbres and textures alone can sustain a record, these are not capable of sustaining this one. After a while, the downpour becomes little more than endless drizzle.

 

Reviewed by Jonathan Bradley, A contributing writer based in Australia.

February 18, 2008

25-07-2008
[www.helga-rockt.de]

 

Einstieg eins: Im virtuellen Raum ist es ein Schritt von Pendikel zu Sankt Otten. In der Realität gibt es größere Gemeinsamkeiten, aber auch ohne diese tauchen beide Namen immer wieder in der Nähe des jeweils anderen auf.

Wäre das aktuelle sphärisch dichte Sankt-Otten-Album Wunden gibt es immer wieder nicht nur digital erhältlich, fiele Einstieg zwei weg, so aber bleibt anzumerken: Die Bewohner von Nerdistan die deutschen Musikliebhaber zwischen Spex und Visions, zwischen Helga-Rockt.de und Plattentests.de nutzen zwar alle Vorteile des Web 2.0 von Myspace über Youtube zu kostenfreien Downloads, doch sobald es um den Kauf von digitalen Alben geht, wird konservativ der Vorteil des harten haptischen Tonträgers gepriesen.

Entsprechend mutig ist es für eine Band, sich zu entschließen, ein Album und sei es vorläufig nur digital zu veröffentlichen. Logisch und zielgerichtet hingegen ist es dann, diese Veröffentlichung bei einem australischen oder verallgemeinernd englischsprachigen Label wie Hidden Shoal Recordings unterzubringen. Bei der Qualität, die Wunden gibt es immer wieder besitzt, wunderte es nicht, wenn dieser Umweg und die nötige Mundpropaganda auf mittlere Sicht die Botschaft der Intensität Sankt Ottenschen Instrumental-Elektronika-Schaffens auch in Nerdistan zu verbreiten in der Lage wäre.

Stephan Ottens Schlagzeug und Laptop zusammen mit Oliver Klemms (si. Pendikel) Gitarren- und Tasteneinsatz schaffen ein emotional ergreifendes, wenn auch an Spannungsbögen relativ armes, doch intensives Werk, das von den ersten Klängen der Taschensymphonie bis zum Ausklingen von Stille Wasser den Hörer in seinen Bann zieht, hypnotisiert und fasziniert.

Zwischen ambienter Möbelmusik, Soundtrack eines ungedrehten Films und Küstenanrainer-Elektronika fesselt das Album, lässt eingeengt fühlen, in der eigenen Unzulänglichkeit, in der Weite der Musik, um in der Mitte der Songabfolge, mit Auf Sünde folgt Strafe die musikalische Inquisition auf den Hörer loszulassen. Überhaupt, mögen die einzelnen Songs Spannungsbögen, Ausbrüche, Höhepunkte vermissen lassen, so ist die Gesamtheit der Songansammlung doch eine geschlossene Reise.

Wunden gibt es immer wieder, ein Album mit einem durchaus nur halbherzig amüsanten Titel, sollte eigentlich zu den Lieblingen in Nerdistan gehören können. Ein Konsens zwischen letztjährigen Höhepunkten und diesjährigen Erwartungen. Vielleicht wird das ja noch was.

 Oliver Bothe

25-07-2008
[www.blueprint-fanzine.de]

 

(mb) Wer sich schneller entspannt, ist besser als jemand, der sich nicht so schnell entspannt, der aber immer noch besser ist als jemand, der sich überhaupt nicht entspannt und verdientermaßen verdientermaßen (zweimal) unentspannt ist Fällt mir ein. PETER LICHT sang das. Warum mir das einfällt? Weil im myspace-Profil von SANKT OTTEN unter anderem das Wort Ambient steht. Angesichts dessen ich wohl eindeutig zu den Unentspannten gehöre. Oder aber die richtigen Platten nie zu Gehör bekommen habe. Wie diese zum Beispiel.
Für dieses Album sollte man sich Zeit nehmen und zwar ganz genau so lange, wie es dauert und sämtliche Nebenbeschäftigungen beiseite legen. Denn die Musik von Stephan Otten und Oliver Klemm, der seine Brötchen ansonsten als Gitarrist von PENDIKEL verdient, braucht ungeteilte Aufmerksamkeit.


Und ja, Ambient ist schon eines der ersten Worte, die einem in den Sinn kämen, selbst wenn man es auf ihrem Profil nicht längst gelesen hätte. Da breiten sich groß angelegte Flächen aus, da ist viel Sound und noch mehr Raum und das alles ohne Ausnahme in einem sehr moderaten Tempo. Schlimmste Befürchtungen hatte ich noch nach dem ersten Hören ihrer Taschensyphonie, dass dies für meinen Geschmack zu sehr ins Esoterische abfällt. Tut es aber nicht, denn schon beim starken zweiten Stück, dem Titellied, gesellen sich zu den genannten Flächen ein entspannter Beat, verhaltene Gitarrenklänge und eine wunderbare Streichermelodie. Spätestens hier fällt auf, mit wie viel Liebe und Umsicht Stephan Otten seine Sounds auswählt. Festplattenliebling beginnt mit verstimmten Piano-Klängen, und das anschließende Der Groove des guten Gewissens ist ein düsterer, aber wunderschöner Elektro-Track, mein liebster auf diesem Album. Auf Sünde folgt Strafe" ist ein weiterer Höhepunkt, ein jazzig angehauchtes Stück mit lockerer, von Besen gestreichelter Snarefigur und mit einer Ruhe vorgetragen, die man auch dem KAMMERFLIMMER KOLLEKTIEF häufiger wünschen würde.


Ein Schwachpunkt des Albums ist nach meiner Ansicht das Schlussstück Stille Wasser, das zwar seinem Namen gerecht wird, aber mit einer derart kitschigen Gitarre daher kommt, dass es mir beim Hören ein enges Gefühl in der Brust verursacht. Ebenso verhält es sich bei Mit guter Laune ins Elysium, dem ich mir auch nach dem siebten oder achten Hördurchgang einfach nichts abgewinnen kann.

Alles in allem ist Wunden gibt es immer wieder ein gutes Stück Kunst geworden, dem es gelingt, mit minimalen, aber geschickt eingesetzten Mitteln verschiedenste Stimmungen zu transportieren. Schade, dass es bislang lediglich als Download, wenn auch zu einem sehr fairen Preis, zu haben ist. Eine Vinyl-Version wird aber wohl sehr bald folgen. Ich halte euch auf dem Laufenden. Und schließlich wäre da auch noch die Frage zu klären, wie denn diese Band zu einem australischen Plattenlabel kommt.

Bewertung : 8 ½ / 10 Sternen

25-07-2008
[www.thesilentballet.com]

The rain is dancing off the cheap metal gutters, but it surely wont last much longer. After all, the only companion for this dreary dose of precipitation is the inherent silence in the air, leaving it to harmlessly pitter-patter toward the ground after escaping the night sky. Alas, it is frigid, and it is damp. And at the same time, it is beautiful.

In the wild world of deviant music, audiences seek complex structures that are somehow able to maintain rhythm while adopting a unique sound. And yet, there are certain times when the simplest sounds and the most seemingly innocently crafted rhythms comprise something so rich and so vibrant that we cant help but take notice of the inherently beautiful proximity. With Wunden Gibt Es Immer Wieder, the second album by Germanys Sankt Otten on Hidden Shoal Recordings, audiences have a record that captures a moment in time an orchestrated landscape that is entirely one with nature and transcends the limits of monotonous ambience. 

Like a brisk wind, there is a logical and methodical transgression to the music. The breeze is steady, and the pace is constant. The strings and guitars reverberate against one another, accompanying the drums in a harmonius union. Although the album was likely not designed as a soundtrack for the winter months, its role as a loyal companion to a desolate frost-bitten landscape is undeniable. It is practically organic breathing heavily at times before recovering with a refrained lull of substance. As far as openers go, Taschensymphonie is pitch-perfect and hits all the right notes. The rhodes piano blends with an electronic hum that establishes a mood of tranquility, and ultimately transitions into the energetic and vibrant title track that is well deserving of being chosen as the albums single.

Later on, Auf Suende Folgt Strafe maintains the practically ethereal soundscape by safely intensifying the groundwork laid by the previous tracks. The monotonous electronic beat is urgent, churning forward to streamline the smoothness of the requisite chords that emerge to the forefront of the composition. This fusion of electronica and ambience is virtually seamless.  Perhaps the most intense part of the storm, or at least the albums highest note, debatedly arises with Depressive Elite, a song where regret simultaneously reverberates from the twangs of distorted guitar wails while the lonely strings of a partner yearn for stability. The best quality of these specific examples is the fact that they are scattered about the album - they are highlights to an already distinguishable entity. Like any storm, there are some raindrops or snowflakes that are larger or more visible than others. In the long run, they are simply one of a billion minutia that contribute to the over-arcing setting.

A little bit too much adventure arises near the end of the album, as Mit Guter Laune Ins Elysium  and Analoge Boheme throw too much of the openly electronic drums into the previously tepid atmosphere. The result is an AIR that reminds us of the French electronic wunderkinds more than it does of the anonymous soundscape that has been previous maintained. This deviation is not necessarily undesirable, but the departure is certainly distracting. Then again, perhaps everyone needs to come in from the rain at some point.

With this release, Sankt Otten has surely made a statement. It has never been fair to label them as the German Portishead. At the same time, it is equally unfair to look at this sophomore release without conceding the bands uncanny knack for fusing together complex musical genres and making the product sound so simple, and yet so beautiful.

-Bill Morgal /  Score: 7/10

Written By: host,  Date Posted: 1/31/2008

 

25-07-2008
[www.headphonecommute.blogspot.com]

 

Hidden Shoal continues to impress. My first introduction to the label was with Wes Willenbring's debut, Somewhere Someone Else. With its 29th release, it is clear that this Australian label is in no doubt with us to output quality experimental ambient, post-rock, and shoegazing pop material from across the globe. Sankt Otten is Stephan Otten and Oliver Klemm, hailing from Osnabrueck, Germany, with two previous full length releases: Eine Kleine Traurigkeit on Eleganz Records, and Wir Koennen Ja Freunde Bleiben on Hidden Shoal. Don't try to translate the titles, just take in the music as is. Trust me. Wunden Gibt Es Immer Wieder, is the duo's third LP, in which they shed the Bristol's trip-hop influence, and move towards a cinematic territory. The instrumental ambiance of the album is lavishing, gorgeous, and inexplicably German [well, what's that supposed to mean?]. I guess some of those lightly distorted, sawtooth synth and guitar sounds gliding over thick and layered pads is what makes it "that German sound" for me - think Ulrich Schnauss, Klaus Schulze, and sometimes Pole. Read my Two and a Half Questions with Sankt Otten to see what they think about that. The percussion accompaniment is light and upbeat, diluting melancholic heaviness with an airy feeling. And the melodies... Ah, the melodies. The track, Der Groove Des Guten Gewissens, with its dramatic strings and high octave piano notes is a true cinematic experience - turn that up and walk around the city in the rain, and let me know if your eyes don't swell up with tears. Both Hidden Shoal releases are available and distributed through Tonevendor. Similar artists cloud includes Talk Talk, Ennio Morricone, Portishead, John Barry and Bohren & der Glub of Core.

 

 

Two and a Half Questions with Sankt Otten

 

In my review I mention a unique German sound. Do you feel that there is a distinct geographic influence in your music?
Spontaneously, and as a German, I can't really see any apparent signs in our music, which could be linked directly to our German heritage. At least not in the way that one would think of Jamaica and their sort of music, for example. I guess considering the point of view of some of my other global compatriots that might look differently. What is the German stereotype in other countries? A mixture of tradition, being rooted, and visionaries? That somehow could fit to us, the Germans.

What are your classical music influences?
What I would accept, is that we try to achieve the sort of atmosphere, which is usually created by the classical composers, such as Henryk Gorecki, for example. It's a one of a kind mix of longing and mourning and yet at the end there is always a ray of hope. You combine that with hypnotic beats, the way you know them from Krautrock or Trip-Hop and the unbelievable Robert Fripp guitar soundscapes and that's how you get to Sankt Otten.

If your album was a soundtrack to a film, what would the main character's name be and why?
No clue. A mixture between a David Lynch episode and Brokeback Mountain with Darth Vader as a supporting character ;-)

25-07-2008