Vital Weekly 596 (NL)

The debut album of Michaele Melian is from two years ago, and named after the small German village Baden-baden, the follow up to a slightly bigger city, ‘Los Angeles’. I didn’t hear Baden-baden, but I understand from the press text that it’s shift away from the previous record. Melian is a multi-media artist and bass player from FSK, a band I also don’t know. As a solo musician Melian plays music that is inspired by techno but she takes it to an entirely new ground. Take for instance the opening piece, ‘Locke-Pistole-Kreuz’, with it’s looped piano motif, a bit of guitar and a very subtle rhythm pattern kicking in. I believe this where we should place the shift between the first and second CD. Apparently the first one dwelt more on rhythm than this album. There is a strong sense of melancholy on this album, with minor keys being played throughout, subtle string parts, drones and organs. When things become minimal here I was reminded of Stephan Mathieu, with a similar sensibili
ty, but a piece like ‘Stift’ is much more Beatles like, with pizzicato violin and a semi-middle eastern cello pattern, against a 4/4 beat. ‘Convention’ is almost like a jazz tune. In these pieces she sounds a bit like Gas, with that subdued beat in the background. Quite a nice and varied CD this one, to which I may only object that some pieces are a bit too long for what they are. The most curious piece is at the end, a cover of Roxy Music’s Manifesto song, and the only vocal piece around here. (FdW)