Moritz Von Oswald Trio – Vertical Ascent (Honest Jon’s) 2LP

August 21, 2009 at 9:00 am 4 comments

Moritz Von Oswald Trio - Vertical Ascent

Moritz Von Oswald Trio - Vertical Ascent

By any reasonable standards, the Moritz Von Oswald Trio is in bad shape. Group leader Von Oswald is still in recovery from a stroke, while percussionist Vladislav Delay is said to have had serious heart problems in recent years. Musically, though, the trio is in rude health.

Well, perhaps that’s a little misleading. This is Moritz Von Oswald we’re talking about here. He of the Basic Channel duo, legendary for stripping techno down to a feint, radiant pulse and (as Rhythm & Sound) reducing vintage reggae to its raw essence of hiss and crackle.

Vertical Ascent is as skeletal and challenging as anything in the Von Oswald back catalogue – and does a great job of transferring the BC aesthetic to a live, improvising band context.

In fact, this is such an austere record that you might find it somewhat hard to love at first. But – given the proper attention – Vertical Ascent induces a fascination that goes beyond the merely cerebral.

It might help if you start with “Pattern 4” (in typically uncompromising style, Von Oswald leaves the most accessible track ’til last). Here, a dubby, downtempo beat cushions the blow of Delay’s clanging metal percussion and the sundry stark synth oscillations.

While it’s very recognizably a Basic Channel-related release, there’s nothing else out there that’s quite like Vertical Ascent. Unique and ingenious, it’s already looking like a good contender for record of the year. You are strongly advised to buy it from Honest Jon’s.

Entry filed under: electronica, MP3s, reviews. Tags: , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. fromherewegosublime  |  August 21, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Ive only listened to this once and I love it.


  • 2. Biggie Samuels  |  August 21, 2009 at 11:50 am

    I do love it but I also find it somewhat elusive. It reminds me of being young and hearing music that I didn’t quite understand but really wanted to understand. This, in itself, has to be a good thing.

  • […] Finland’s Sasu Ripatti – aka Vladislav Delay – is the real deal: an electronic music artist with an instantly recognizable signature sound, who is also unafraid to do his thing in a wide range of forms and contexts. Aside from his solo abstract electronica work, Ripatti flirts with vocal house music and pop under the guide of Luomo, explores the limits of language in collaboration with his missus AGF and plays scrap-metal percussion in The Moritz Von Oswald Trio. […]

  • 4. Albums of the Year 2009 « Bubblegum Cage III  |  December 24, 2009 at 9:11 am

    […] Originally reviewed in August. […]


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