Baldruin – ‘Nachtfalter’ [Review]

Baldruin, Germany’s Johannes Schebler, conjures ‘Nachtfalter’ through baroque psychedelics and dark ambient material.  Beginning the tape with “Irrweg” and what may very well be a phrasing-quotation from a later Coil LP, the tracks follow in quick secession with an arboreal paganism and wry, literary sensibility.  The Sturm und Drang continues with similar titling (anything can appear a grimoire when written in German with the right font), compiling sounds from flutes, bells and various percussion, antiquated strings, and well-disguised electronics.  The difference, however, singling out the exceptional Baldruin from neighbors like Hoor Paar Kraat and Clay Ruby is the deliberate condensation of these sounds into gnarled structures of compositional organization, not without voice both literally and figuratively.  High points such as “Spiegelung,” “Schürfwunde,” and “Wildwuchs” stand shoulders to the best instrumentals of Current 93, evoking the same garden fantasies of pleasure and horror, but mostly an even-keeled wistfulness for both.  Avant-folkways are similar forged to noir guitarsmiths like Jon Porras, Steven R. Smith, Ben Nash, and Evan Miller, both for instrumental dexterity and deliberation of vision.  A C30 with 12 tracks, the tasteful length of these pieces ensures no idea runs afoul of a conclusion, and the tape object emanates potential by smuggling its own secrets. 100 copies on clear tapes with fancy glossy J-cards.  Highly recommended.

Brave Mysteries cassette

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