Ebertbrothers :: Susten Pass (Mindwaves Music)

Susten Pass is a first release that floats free from visual support, evidencing a broad range of textures and architectures; serpentine synths coil and uncoil around rhythmic skitter and sampledelic inserts in a sound that blends studio micro-edits with drawn-from-live structures.

Ebertbrothers 'Susten Pass'

[Release page] Ebertbrothers specialise in music preconceived for visual performances. Starting out as traffickers in video art, Berlin-based bros Axel and Michael have now shifted focus to sound-and-vision, their music being derived from audio-visual live performances. The duo deal in soundscapes “that shift between noise, melancholy, mangled beats and wide spaces,” accompanied by constantly developing abstract visuals. With several self-released live recordings, an album, and an EP behind them, 2010 appears to have been spent on European promulgation, and a series of performances (some captured here) that seem to have substantially extended their sonic palette.

Susten Pass is a first release that floats free from visual support, evidencing a broad range of textures and architectures; serpentine synths coil and uncoil around rhythmic skitter and sampledelic inserts in a sound that blends studio micro-edits with drawn-from-live structures. Opening salvoes (“Cave Diving Tonight,””Risc Assembler”) locate us not far from mid 90s-early 00s vintage IDM – think Autechre, or rather an update of a distillate of various Warped, Skammed and Rephlexed dressed in some of AE’s colours; but it’s not that simple, as the first substantial chunk of the album then proceeds unpredictably, with a sequence bounded by beatless drift (“Chrono”) and ill synthetic ambience (“Commode”) that goes from the Funckarma/Quench style tech-funk of “Subborn Transmission”) to the darkside grind-hop of “Feature Film” and “Black String” (both of which would sit comfily on Tympanik Audio or Hymen), taking in the queasy lounge-glitch vignette of “Steffi” on the way. The final sequence of tracks follows a similarly variegated and mercurial route through the stylings mentioned earlier, ending on a high with the shimmer and fade of “Susten Pass” and “Maitre du Village,” all velvet and skitter, suggestive of further Funcken around.

The trainspotting tendency within the reviewer’s armoury duly indulged, it seems only fair to stress that Ebertbothers’ influences and derivations do not vitiate. Susten Pass offers considerable diversion, is artfully designed and well sequenced into album flow. Moreover, it’s a work that, while far from seeking to ingratiate, is somehow imbued with an ineffable substance that’s oddly intoxicating.

Susten Pass is out now on Mindwaves Music.

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