David Wallraf – “1946-1949” Album/Tape Review (Ambient/Experimental)

a2752835470_16Coming to us from the shores of Germany is an intriguing piece that makes heavy use of ocean-side field recordings.  David Wallraf brings us 1946-1949, his new digital & cassette release on the Neoprimitive label.

According to the artist: “in those years (1946-1949) all German ships had to fly a special flag that was not a national ensign due to an order by the allied forces. The sounds and noises on the release revolve around a nautical theme and should be listened to as a critique of the rising tide of nationalism we are dealing with today.”

Taking context aside, what David Wallraf brings us is a recording that is sonically immersive due primarily to the ocean field recordings.  Perhaps the most dynamic and enveloping piece is the 15-minute title track where we hear waves of harsh noise in conjunction with the environmental noises (ocean, birds etc).  It’s quite engaging and almost impossible to take in all at one listen.  One might find the equivalent of the security of a intact ship floating upon the ocean only to be greeted by an oncoming violent storm (tastefully done with harsh noise, I might add).  

A track like “Submission” seems to explore more of a structure vs. chaos dynamic with the hypnotic rhythm on top of rising tides of harsh noise only to be completely enveloped like a tsunami.  At 3:40, “Capitulation” is the shortest cut on the 5-track tape.  Definitely a deep-see diving vibe here; very exploratory as we envision the blackened, deep ocean with the distant noise of the cresting waves above and marine life around.  

There is definitely a variety of levels of comfort ranging from frightening and paranoid to secure and serene.  Taken with the aforementioned context above, it just makes 1946-1949 that much more of an effective concept and recording.  Leave it to my friends, the Germans to churn out something brilliant and deep.

https://neoprimitive.bandcamp.com/album/1946-1949

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