Hinterlandt – Ensemble (2016)

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Hinterlandt is a Sydney based group consisting of four musicians lead by solo instrumentalist Jochen Gutsch playing experimental, progressive chamber music.

I didn’t know such a thing existed. I’m officially in uncharted territory here.

The debut album ‘Ensemble’ is a 4 track affair (but over 60 minutes of music!) that utilises strings, percussive sounds, guitars and trumpet to create an atmospheric and unsettling mix of classical music and experimental sounds and compositions.

I would normally steer clear of anything that doesn’t involve guitar/bass and drums…but this project has something intriguing about it. Even before hearing the music I was interested. A label like Art As Catharsis who put out some pretty proggy, heavy and eclectic stuff seemed like a strange fit…so the burning questions were: What the hell is post-chamber music? How does it fit into the musical landscape? How can a classical ensemble be progressive?

To hear it is to understand it. Beautiful cello and violin lines drone in and out of melodies between each other, guitars plucked and strummed give measure and rhythm in parts…at other times it’s entirely supportive of the lead instruments. The odd percussive sounds, either from plucked strings or hitting some part of the instrument work well to reinforce the idea that this group isn’t playing by the rules.

Opening piece ‘Umgangswelt’ is a 24 minute movement..i guess..? It starts sparingly, very post-rock-like and builds to introduce all the parts and players. The arrangement is strikingly beautiful and yet sort of off. Perhaps the human element of improvisation and experimentation are best reflected in the slightly off notes, the clashes in tones and over all very live sound of the recording. It’s really intriguing!

It’s not a stretch of the imagination to see many post-rock fans appreciating this work for its multi layered approach, progressive build ups and long melodic passages. It’s going to find immediate fans with people who already enjoy classical forms of music. This however..just feels more modern. Riskier. Hinterlandt have something very different and interesting to offer.

Pre order the digital release or go big for the digipak due to drop in January 2016

https://artascatharsis.bandcamp.com/album/ensemble

Follow the group here:

https://www.facebook.com/hinterlandt/

 

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