Artist: Michaela Melián
Label: Monika Enterprise (@)
Whether the title “Monaco” refers to the principality on French Riviera or the Bavarian capital city, this new release by Michaela Melian, co-founder of F.S.K. (standing for “Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle”, the name of the West German self-censorship institution), one of John Peel’s favourite German bands, ideally completes a trilogy of geographically named releases after “Baden-Baden” and “Los Angeles” on an elliptical mark, where the lack of verbal clue as the only proper song is the stentorian cover of David Bowie’s “Scary Monsters”, whose no-frills structure along the lines of previous cover version of Roxy Music’s songs by Michaela, got balanced by a plenty of references to places and other works from other arts (particularly literature and cinema), but what counts more is the way she manages to inspire mental images without words by means of a limited set of tones and a lavish instrumental expressiveness (rendered by a wide set of instruments, including zither, banjo, kalimba, glockenspiel, Spanish and electric guitar, organ and so on), which could be vaguely associated to music for movies due to the reminiscent power, the presence of sonic features such as hisses and crackles of magnetic tapes, old celluloid or vinyls, which emphasizes the heart rending blues which mark many tracks out. Sucha connection with music for movies is just paradigmatic as the soundscapes she composed sound more like emotional cameos where flourishing memories weave together fading images. The sober piano-driven rumination of the initial “Delta Of Venus” (a reference to Anais Nin’s well-known book of erotic short stories?), where a sort of beeping signaling system for queue and a flowing ticking move along the set, digs a groove which got reprised in many following moments of the record, whose somewhat suffered knots seems to disentangle on the final dignified plainnes of “Geometrie der Liebe” and the lukeworm mild sedation of “Jardin Exotique”.