] [Thread Prev
the FOURTH NIGHT: Bernhard Wagners' beautiful new CD reviewed
I had an amazing musical week.................taking in Goth night with
DJs; seeing Nine Inch Nails
rip it up at the Santa Cruz Civic; performing live looping with video
accompaniement at Gavilan College's New Digital Media Center;
playing acoustic traditional jazz with really good musicians in Pebble
The week was full of a huge variety of really excellent music and I rented
car with a fantastic stereo
to get to everything.
My constant companion on those long drives to and from the gigs was the
brilliant new CD by Bernhard Wagner,
the talented guitarist from Zurich, Switzerland.
After listening to all that music....................going out
clubbing............seeing NIN rage at the Civic, I cannot
get the title track to "The Fourth Night" out of my head. It's as
compelling a piece of music as I've heard
in a good long while and it really attests to the excellence of this first
output by Bernhard that it sticks in
my head so much.
I've seen Bernhard play a few times now and so it was a pleasant surprise
hear him sing on (only ) the title track.
He has a really nice voice and I truly hope he continues to sing on
subsequent outings. I can't say enough good things
about this1st track. I simply love it.
"The Fourth Night" is also a perfect late night driving home
CD...................and by the time you are completely lulled by
the minor scales and the polyrhythmic interplay of long fading delay lines
that make the record so trippy and delicious
Bernhard will suddenly change up and bring really fascinating and
challenging new music timbres into the mix.
This is my kind of late night listening.................there are definite
ambient qualities to the music but it is constantly morphing
into new and unheard territory.
In the center suite of tunes that run from track 3 through
is not until several minutes into the fifth track that the guitar
tones suddenly add distortions and then takes a sudden left turn with
glitchy replacements of the original piece.
The tracks have individual names here but these three piece really read as
one long piece.
Track 7, "Le Menhir" takes the most chances on the record and is one of
favorite pieces. Bernhard's use of the
replacement functions in the Gibson EDP is really exquisite on this piece.
Challenging the ear of the listener but never
completely alienating nor losing site of the melody and mood of the piece.
It's really a great track.
Track 8, "La Lueur" hits a loop at around 8 minutes that is what Peter
Gabriel should be including in his most recent outputs
(instead of what he is).................This loop would make a fantastic
song if developed along those lines.................or maybe
Gabriel should just hire Bernhard Wagner to play in his band. It would be
fitting place for this expansive and talented guitarist.
That's another thing I love about this recording: There are constantly
times where I could hear really good pop songs coming from loops or
that he plays and yet the CD is not a pop record in the slightest.
Right at the end of the record on Track 9, "Math Town" it suddenly
up and gets the most funky and almost dance oriented that the whole record
has to offer. It's cool piece and as a drummer, I was itching to lay
some fat groove over it.
Bernhard finishes off the CD with a brief reprise of the wonderful title
track....................playing the CD on continuous play I went through
the whole thing twice a couple of times and it just all flowed perfectly.
What's wonderful about this record is that at several points it hints at
being a different project.................ambient, experimental, pop,
funk............and yet, it all remains a cohesive whole. It is really
rhythmic and yet, there isn't a drum set to be heard on the whole thing.
It's really an impressive first outing and I can't wait to hear what
Bernhard Wagner has up his sleeve for his next CD.
Go out and buy this CD for yourself or a loved one for Christmas. You'll
glad you did.