Heinz Riegler : Survey #2 (One Thousand Dreams I Never Had)
I vaguely remember the '90s, and in the '90s there was an otherwise promising quasi-rock outfit from Brisbane called Not From There. Fast-forward many years later, crossing continents and genres, their frontman Heinz Riegler has emerged with Survey #2; a collection of instrumentals recorded in the Austrian alps in the dead of a white winter.
The story goes that Riegler, who relocated to Austria some years ago now, actually snowed himself in to a house up in the hills for the purpose of inspiring these pieces of music. The results are beautiful, warm, resonant and succinct. There's a distinct air of Kraut-rock throughout, from the retro synth sound of Georg (Vollmond 2) to the dreamy drone of Dissolve. Within that sentiment, Riegler also suggests the exquisite cool of Berlin trilogy-era Bowie, which as we know was in no small part the product of Brian Eno's more ambient tendencies. And this may hint as to the depth and breadth of Riegler's offering.
Riegler regularly uses guitar tones and other effects to nuance Survey #2, and its slow burning vibe is only enhanced through these touches. No Colour, No Sound for example is a simple piece of music punctuated by piano, clarinet, and a haunting vocal shrill which may, or may not be human, but is, without question, seemingly otherworldly. It's the earthiness of Hood, A Silver Mt Zion, Eluvium and The Late Cord all rolled into one glorious ode. Occasionally pieces feel incidental and raw, but seldom under-realised. This as it turns out is some of the appeal of Survey #2; and with the sum of its parts it forms to create a lingering, timeless musical experience, one perhaps best taken in front of a bar heater.
BY STEVE PHILLIPS
Best Track: No Colour, No Sound
If You Like These, You'll Like This: Copia ELUVIUM, Yes To Fear, Yes To Desire PANOPTIQUE ELECTRICAL, FENNESZ
In A Word: Enveloping