Stefan Schmidt – “lärmschatten” Album Review (dark ambient/noise)

a3592254863_16Stefan Schmidt is a pretty fascinating character when it comes to the grossly under rated and underexposed German experimental music/noise scenes.  His knowledge and balance between the abstract and specific are indeed noticeable as is his mindfulness of dynamics such as vastness vs. claustrophobic.  

From Bandcamp: “stefan schmidt is a classical guitarist, composer and improviser. since 2000 he has released various albums (from 2001 till 2014 using the moniker ‘farang’) and created music for films, plays, exhibitions and dance performances.” 

Lärmschatten is Stefan Schmidt’s latest digital-only (and Name Your Own Price) release.  I have to wonder if Rudolf Eber is an influence as Mr. Eber is the king of using minimalism and found/environmental sounds to give a soundtrack to discomfort.  This is exactly what Stefan does in tracks like “femrauh” and “knarzet.”  But he also explores more of a dark ambient arena with “abdunkel;” a downright borderline frightening track suitable for a film character suspended in fear.  More dark ambient drones are explored in the first two cuts of the album as well as in track 5, “hollkehl.”

Stefan Schmidt is an artist who likes to push the boundaries and blur the lines of dark ambient and noise and sort of redefine them to provide his own voice.  Definitely one of my favorite artists in the underrated German scene.

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