Jonas Reinhardt ~ Conclave Surge

The last Jonas Reinhardt album we reviewed was accompanied by a DVD; this time, the visuals are left to the mind.  The cover is the exception, implying holiness and hush: one might see candles in this image, or the pipes of a church organ.  The word conclave means with key, and the album is intended to work as such, the music unlocking connections in mind and body.

While the album contains less percussion than prior works, the tempos are steady, the trance-like feeling preserved.  As synthesized passages travel speaker to speaker in “Balk Moreau”, one feels enveloped in the benign.  The association is no surprise in light of the inspiration: a belly dance scored by Deep Forest.  The feeling is amplified by the closing beeps, yet is swiftly extinguished by the launching surge of the subsequent track.  The attention is drawn to “electric discharge arcing across a room,” a common phenomenon that often goes unnoticed.  Some might say the same of divine intervention.  Reinhardt revisits this contrast at the end of “Telebrand Suitor” and start of “Harmful Altar”, teaching through repetition.

The word “ceremony” is included twice in the press release.  This specific ceremony is akin to that of transcendental meditation, in that it invites the listener to surrender to a feeling rather than to react to a sound.  The drums of “I.R.N.” act as an invitation, but operate more as pattern than as propulsion, fading long before the song has ended.  The most active track, “Telebrand Suitor”, is also the album’s shortest, sounding like the opening of a third eye.  The title stands in stark contrast, perhaps a lament that so many seek transcendence through television rather than ritual.  As the album billows to a close, its lightness of spirit suggests that the old ways are not as stark as they once seemed.  (Richard Allen)

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