Schattenspieler (2019 Purple Vinyl Repress)


Miasmah present a 2019 repress of Marcus Fjellström's Schattenspieler, originally released in 2010. Swedish composer and multimedia artist Marcus Fjellström's debut Miasmah release followed two critically acclaimed, full-length albums on Lampse -- 2006's Gebrauchsmusik (LAMP 006CD) and 2005's Exercises In Estrangement (LAMP 002CD). In addition, Marcus has had several commissioned works requested, leading to him working with, among others, the Swedish Royal Ballet, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, numerous ensembles, soloists and filmmakers including Salad Fingers creator David Firth. Based in Berlin, Fjellström's compositions often combined aspects of modern classical composition and arrangement and more avant forms of music, be that acoustic or electronic. Schattenspieler (which translates as "Shadowplayer") takes the form of eleven compositions which explore ambience and melody, texture and silence. Haunting synth and orchestral instrument-based audio constructions, flowing from one moment to the next -- the fleeting ghosts of Fjellström's melodies rise, only to be buried under a claustrophobic clutter of percussion and creaking background noise. These pieces do indeed feel like you're listening to something more implied than obviously stated, as if Fjellström wanted only to expose us to the shadow of the music -- the implication being perhaps a more terrifying experience than to be confronted outright -- listen to Schattenspieler and you may find your mind starts to play tricks on you... The undeniably Angelo Badalamenti-esque descending synth strings of opening track "The Disjointed", lay the foundations for Fjellström's Schattenspieler album; music resting somewhere between the unsettling horror soundtracks of Jerry Goldsmith, the elevating melodies of Cliff Martinez, and the subtle audio constructions of Miasmah label mates, Kreng and Jacaszek. Marcus's wide-ranging abilities in composition and his willingness to let go of accepted form and function makes Schattenspieler a perfect choice of release for the Miasmah label. The suspense laden "Antichrist Architechture Management", with its harrowing and tense undertones, weaving synth lines and a wash of static hiss and flicker, is a particular standout track. Despite it's a strangely oppressive sound, shafts of light grace Schattenspieler; pieces such as "Untitled 090616" find gorgeous melodies are boxed in by unsettling arrangements and sparse background ambience. There is a coldness to many of these compositions -- not without emotion, but somehow remorseless. Schattenspieler is, for the main part, a defiantly bleak journey. Includes 12-inch, eight-page booklet with drawings by Marcus Fjellström. Purple vinyl; edition of 300.