Two years after Lieder Für Geometrische Stunden, German duo Sankt Otten (Oliver Klemm, Stephan Otten) havereleased a new album called Symmetrie Und Wahnsinn which is out now via Berlin based label Denovali Records. Check the full streaming below.
According to the press release, The album starts unusually buoyant with “Hymne Der Melancholischen Programmierer” (Hymn for sentimental programmers). A Kraut-Pop pearl, which could go on forever with its Motorik swing and with its catchy melody the track doesn’t come across as melancholic as the song title predicts. You have to listen twice to not succumb to the illusion that itwas composed in Düsseldorf at the end of the seventies. Here (and on the track “Sei Symmetrisch Zu Mir”), Sankt Ottenwere supported in the studio by drummer friend DIRK PELLMANN.
The drum machine in rumbling funky mode. “Die Glücklichen Unglücklichen”, the secret hit of the album? They bend the beat into geometric shapes, let the bass play in circles and cover the song with ghostly choirs. The echo of a spinett-like sound overlays the sound, spitting out a deceptively cuddly dream world.
The 10 minute long “Die Ordnung Des Lärms” could be called an Ambient-Kraut symphony without hesitation. An enormous swelling to ecstasy, a guitar sings distantly in the background. Silence. Synthetic strings pave the way and are supported by choirs. A crackle that suggests a rhythm until it is taken over by a drum computer in the main part of the track. Bombastic mountains of synthesizers pile up and yet a catchy melody finds its way through this mishmash of hypnotic electronics. Fourth movement – Kosmische-choirs in suspension over a bass synth and an Ebow guitar. Is this already Prog-Rock? The question doesn’t arise, in the end everything merges into reverb.
“Luftspiegelung Der Sentimentalitäten” begins cautiously with a gentle sequence and a discreet kick drum. The mini-Moog sounds like a guitar. Anyway. A surface floats by and returns, layers and shapes build up. At last, everything melts into perfect harmony with a plaintive-sounding synth. This track was composed as a stripped back reprise of the first track from the last album “Sentimentale Sequenzen”.
A hypnotic Motorik-beat of an 808 that encourages head nodding and could almost be danceable. True to style with warm analog 80s electronic sounds and a loose echo guitar. This is “Angekommen In Der letzten Reihe”. Man and machine hand in hand as a homogeneous musical unit and the connection of tradition and vision.
Sankt Otten like images of infinity. In the religious sense of meditative mantras, or also in the mathematical sense of an elongated curve that eventually returns to its starting point. “Bis Das Helle Licht Uns Holt” goes exactly in this direction with its classical use of sequencers and a sound carpet of choirs. Sound worlds that, through a clever repetitiveness, barely noticeably guard the constant changes in the compositional mesh like a secret and only reveal what is to be discovered by listening closely and letting it be seen. Such a thing is probably called Berlin School?