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Zweite Meer

F.S. Blumm
Zweite Meer
(Morr Music)

Along with Harald "Sack" Ziegler, Frank Schültge Blumm has helped create several albums of sparse, electronically-filtered soundscapes under the name Sack Und Blumm. In addition to the work with that duo, F.S. Blumm has been rather busy on his own as well, with Zweite Meer, his fourth full-length release (and second on the Morr Music label). Started in his head as he toured down the west coast with Greg Davis and E*Rock, the album definitely has a breezy pacific feel that lends itself well to Blumms already somewhat stripped-down folk tracks.

Blumm performs most of the instrumentation on the release, and it comes from a wide variety of sources as percussive instruments like xylophone, vibraphone, and glockenspiel provide most of the percussive backing while guitars and bass tangle with more breathy instruments like harmonium, accordion and melodica. In fact, the tactile qualities of the instruments themselves seem to be amplified on the release as guitar fret noises squeak and the wheeze of accordion and harmonium creep into the mix. "Sonn" opens the disc with both of the aforementioned as a pretty acoustic guitar melody winds around a repeated xylophone tap while "Wass" brings some xylophone and chimes in alongside a repeated bass melody and more delicate guitar (in which fret noise and even fingers dancing along the wood on the neck can be heard).

"Nie" is even more idyllic as harmonium and accordion breath out together and overlap in fragile ways while a repeated guitar melodies weaves through them both. It's easily one of the more tender and beautiful tracks on the entire release. In places, the album gets stuck a bit, as on the repeated acoustic strum of "Lunten," but for the most part the twelve tracks zip by with plenty of different ideas and a wealth of warmth. With wheezy harmonium, some casio keyboard, and actual drums, "Wamdel" picks up the pace nicely and sounds like an actual electronic Morr Music track re-envisioned as an acoustic one and Blumm even enlists his favorite singing voice (David Grubbs) on the final track "Nachhall/Chroma Key." With a running time of just under forty minutes, Zweite Meer is a light summer release to play when the heat of the day makes just about everything else sound too oppressive.

Rating: 7