[Review] Electric Mud – Quiet Days On Earth

Electric Mud is a German Post-Progressive Rock duo formed by Hagen Bretschneider & Nico Walser in 2011. Their sound is a melange of Classic Progressive Rock fused with Post-Rock, Berlin School and Cinematic Elements. 4 are the albums published by the band, the last of which “Quiet Days On Earth,” released on May 28, 2020 and containing 15 entirely instrumental songs for a total of 79 minutes of music. Unlike its predecessor, released two years earlier, the Blues veins that had characterized the sound have disappeared, this time giving more space to the keyboards and the symphonic component. The duo plays all the instruments, except for the drum, replaced by the drum-machine which however adapts discreetly to the complex and deep atmospheres of the songs. Dreamy melodies and atmospheric / ambient features characterize the structure of the tracks, where intertwining of acoustic and electric guitars is added to pleasant and soft layers of keyboards and orchestrations. As mentioned above, keyboards are given ample space, undoubtedly the predominant instrument, creating continuously changing and different sound settings for each song. We go from softer songs with sweet piano melodies to darker ones, almost dark to more baroque inserts and close to the Prog sounds of the ’70s, passing through other more orchestral and pompous moments. The electric chattara inserts are reminiscent of the Floydian sounds, taking inspiration from the effects and technique used by David Gilmour, adding pleasant melodies, never intrusive. In addition, the references and influences of the Berlin School and of German Cosmic music in general are noted, with openings and hints of electronic music by groups such as Tangerine Dream, revisited with a personal touch and style. The bass lines are deep and guide the rhythmic session well, which with the use of the virtual drum sometimes turns out to be a little lackluster, but still suitable for the structure of the songs. There are several styles and musical genres that mix to give life to this pleasant album, all exploited with technique and precision, as well as revisited in a modern key and with a personal touch of the band, never banal and with some cues of fine workmanship . An album that needs several plays to be able to fully understand its true essence, a work that is at times sophisticated but that over time will surely be able to hit the listener positively. Not the classic Prog album as it can be understood, but it is more a set of styles and sub-genres, however, always linked by the main theme, with different digressions and incursions, overcoming horizons and labels for their own sake. A recommended listening for all lovers of unconventional Progressive sounds, of Krautrock music with Cosmic and electronic veins, as well as Neo-Prog, with sweet and other darker shades that mix together giving life to a smooth, atmospheric and pleasant album. This duo is confirmed prepared and inspired, both in the compositional and in the executive phase, confirming and improving the good things heard in previous albums, my humble opinion, with a real drum maybe the quality of the work would increase, even if we are talking about a good album.

Tracklist

  1. Aurora Moon
  2. Silhouettes Floating Down A Rain-Slicked Street
  3. Mer De Glace
  4. Quiet Days On Earth
  5. Wading Through The Waters Of Time
  6. The Echoes Of Acheron
  7. The Loneliness of the Somnambulist
  8. Durance
  9. The Space Between The Shadows
  10. Adventures In A Liquid World
  11. The Blinding Absence Of Light
  12. Eyes Watching Skies
  13. Foggy Postcard From A Barren Land
  14. Into The Great Unknown
  15. Sleeping Under A Green Desert Tree

Lineup

Hagen Bretschneider / Music Conception, Bass

Nico Walser / Guitars, Fretless Bass, Noises, Drum Programming, Co-Composing and Audio Engineering

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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