CD, Brume Records, 2007
An interesting development within the modern electronica scene is that of a number of industrial artists taking a step back from harsh rhythmic noise to create a more mature sound, melding emotional neo-classical with complex IDM beats. Talvekoidik is a welcome addition to this steadily growing trend, being the thoroughly amicable German chap, Kai Christian Hahnewald, one half of Soviet cosmonautics-fixated rhythmic duo, S.K.E.T. While S.K.E.T. seem to have come onto the rhythmic industrial scene a little late in the day for some, and at times fail to satisfy me by relying too much on fast and relentless rhythms at the expense of memorable tunes, Talvekoidik is a much more interesting prospect for my tastes.
“Such A Perfect Day” is hopefully ironically titled, but is a very good tune, opening the album in a suitably stirring manner with deep strings and syncopated beats, enough tiny imperfections to maintain a more human quality. “Concealed Longings” follows quickly with a melancholic piano refrain giving way to more rich orchestral textures that create a wonderfully moving filmic feel. This feel is maybe taken slightly over the line on “Rough Baltic Shore,” whose rustic charm initially sends me off course to Ireland, before the wind instruments place it way east to Japan, the nostalgic melody treading a fine line between moving and slightly twee. “Eismeer” then contrasts effectively with some harder glitchy breaks, and ups the intensity with a triumphant chord progression suggesting a heroic ride to victory, although the horses are in danger of tripping over some of the more awkward percussive elements.
“The Moebius Strip” has an elegant string quartet opening, joined by noisier chords, but the whistle sound appearing later has me thinking of some kind of television montage of Germany’s determined progression through the football World Cup, only to be knocked out of the quarter finals on penalties! “Sandstorm” is predictably a departure to the dusty Middle East, and very compelling it is, too, with a swirling lead over Arabic polyrhythms, while “Goodbye Of The Certainty” takes us back to colder northern lands and is one of the better fusions of powerful symphonics with crunchy electronics. The title track of course is not silent, but has a more atmospheric opening growing steadily to a crescendo of opulent violins. Then “Power Of Eclecticism” is a little too much upbeat drum’n’bass for my liking, albeit still with great orchestral sounds. The album closes with the mournful string lament of “The Cliff,” possibly our hero about to dash himself on the rocks below after his adventures have reached a violent and bloody conclusion?
The remixes tagged on the end are a little unnecessary; Heimstatt Yipotash are quite good, Fragment King quite a mess, and 16pad Noiseterrorist not particularly noisy or terrifying, but definitely quirky and surprising. So overall this is a very good debut album and Talvekoidik should be a strong force on the scene for some years to come. Complaints are rather harsh but hopefully not unfair; the classical elements can be slightly too obvious or romantic in places, less so than the rhythmic parts are often a little too fast and slightly clumsy. But I’m sure that will all be sorted out for the next album, so in the meantime you could do a lot worse than to check out “Silent Reflections” for your fill of neo-classical electronica delights.
— Nathan Clemence