Bernhard Fleischmann's last release Welcome Tourist was one of my favorite releases of last year. As the last moments of the second disc (the single track of "Take Your Time") breathed out, it also felt like the last fragile outpourings of a long period of work. One could possibly liken it to the sigh at the end of an exhaustive moment. If that was indeed the case, then Late is simply Fleishmann having some fun again.
Duo 505 is the collaborative project of Fleischmann and the artist Herbert Weixelbaum. Although they had never heard of one another before a mutual friend introduced them to one another, the one thing they do have in common is their use of a Roland MC 505 (aka the Groovebox) in musical creation. After pulling off a successful show in which they worked with one another and clicked, the two decided to get together and put together a release. For composition, one person would entirely construct a track, then hand it over to the other and let them tweak and change it. Despite working this way, Late has a fairly cohesive flow over the course of its 7 tracks and 42 minute running time.
While Welcome Tourist focused a bit more on textures and creating music that was a little bit more timeless, Late is moreso based around simply melodies and playful rhythms. "Tsip Tsap" opens the disc with layers of soft pads that build gradually while a propulsive beat drives underneath with a layer of filth over it all. At just over 4 minutes in length, it's "LSDJ08" that is the most poppy thing on the release again layering ascending bubbly melodies as beats layer on top of one another for a huge crescendo. On rare occasion, actual instrumentation shines through the electronic haze (as with the guitars on "Toru Okada"), but mostly the release is about the bleeps and bloops as tracks like "Nochwas" and "Disko+Bett" sound like 8-bit shoegaze music. Engaging at times and forgettable at others, it isn't a must-have release, but fun for fans of Fleischmann.