Review: Exploring The Crystalline Halcyon Glaciers Of Recondite’s ‘Dwell’

Recondite | Dwell | Ghostly International

Release Date: 24 January, 2020

A melancholic chill creeps gently through the atmospheric minimalism Recondite constructs; thematic and emotional, the German musician and producer blends tender ambient techno with an icy, cinematic feel.

The moniker of Lorenz Brunner, the actual definition of the term recondite is an exploration of the profound; something unknown to many, an obscure subject perhaps difficult for most to understand – this density of emotion forms a crystalline traverse in the artist’s sound. Recondite’s halcyon tracks flow as subtle, introspective narratives – consistent and harmonious in their storytelling; the melodic nature of Recondite’s downtempo style allows for an effortless blend of electronic genres. 

Since Brunner’s debut in 2011, the musician’s work has spanned across multiple labels such as Acid Test, Midnight Shift, Trolldans, Dystopian, Ghostly International and his own imprint, Plangent Records. An active producer with an impressive myriad of releases across the years; following his previous 2018 LP release ‘Daemmerlicht’ released via Plangent, and his 2019 EP ‘Silk’ released via Hotflush – his latest full-length ‘Dwell’ is a perfect representation of the artist’s signature personality, released via Ghostly International.

The soft, melancholy euphoria of the opening, and titular track ‘Dwell‘ sets the overall tone of the album; the scintillating sadness of the twinkling electronics enmeshed with a melody in minor key, sculpts a shadowy seascape – an immersion into the gloaming, a restless beauty. Hues of loving introspection settle at the heart of the driving beat, an icy blue-blood swirling with starry, minimalist techno; the ambient aura emotional, doused with cold, glittering textures. ‘Dwell‘ holds a focused ambition, an auditory narrative that feels deeply personal in nature – an intimate reflection.

Cure‘ serenades with a crystalline introduction; gentle taps on the glistening raw chill of icicles, ambient chimes cradled with reverb. The atmospheric melancholia flowers in echoic bliss, the glacial beat pulsing beneath the frozen surface as layers of textural ambience are sculpted into an immersive sphere of sound. A ghostly energy permeates a soundscape growing full with grey-tinted clouds, percussion bringing subtle shades of warmth in the tracks progression. The lilting repetition creates an air of tranquility, the calm minimalism allowing for a meditative experience.

A haunting iridescence emanates from ‘Moon Pearl‘ – the slow, sorrowful notes of its opening held closely by a deep, lurking drone; a heavier tide beginning to set in, an expectant ambience lapping at the seashore. A moody beat pulses boldly; cradled by moonbeams of delay and constellations of electronic textures, as they shape a phantom ocean. A sensitive light reflects off a brooding seascape, the rising and falling of chiming notes reminiscent of emotional post-rock – layers of texture building a shimmering realm, embraced by restless waves as a crescendo – before surrendering to the welcoming waters.

The melancholia of ‘Dwell‘ presents a sparkling lucidity; the delicate chill of Recondite’s compositions work together as coherent narrative – an introspective and peaceful journey through a rich, atmospheric realm. The focused construction of lush ambience is a considerate companion to the intricate minimalism of the underlaying techno, engaging without being either under or overwhelming. ‘Dwell’ is a balanced, immersive offering and a keen representation of Recondite’s electronic auditory personality; glistening with the type of polar coldness that is refreshing, inviting and serene.

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Rating: 8 / 10

Feature Image: Recondite by Shai Levy

Review by Jenna Dreisenstock