Review Floating di Morel "Goal Less Play"

Floating di Morel: Goal Less Play – Review

Since the band’s foundation in 1994, Berlin-based Floating di Morel are known for leaving both audience and critics somewhere between sincere appreciation and genuine confusion. With almost rudimentary equipment and (to outsiders) quite unpredictable intentions, the trio has been cultivating a pretty bizarre mix of lo-fi psychedelic rock’n roll and minimal-postpunk-industrial avant-garde (according to the members’ own description) – a sound which, so to speak, screamingly contrasts with their neat appearance and decent clothing.

Apparently that sound puts on many listeners and critics an intellectual strain so big that it constantly supplies fuel for controversial debates on musical aesthetics. So, a recent discussion about their newly released, fourth studio album Goal Less Play is currently ranging from “semi-acoustic strumming” and “crude rumbling noise with awful vocals” right up to sound effects that supposedly are a pain in the ears.

As we know, there’s no arguing about taste, but “taste” is also a question of listening habits. Anyone who’s a little familiar with the music history of the past 50 years, will certainly admit that FdM albums do sound somehow like the Berlin version of Velvet Underground, subtly blended with the minimalistic arrangements of classical Suicide and the “industrial” noise elements of Throbbing Gristle. And realise what to unaccustomed ears seems like a bunch of unfinished songs, might just be pure intention.

Like all these artists, who surely received similar critiques in their time, FdM are so leftfield and askew that, after repeated listening, their music reveals an aesthetic beauty of its own. Here, vocals as quirky and indifferent as Lou Reed’s, electro-acoustics limited to the essentials, and elaborated harmony changes (permitting in some parts even a comparison with Syd Barrett) add up to angular minimal songs radically opposed to all mainstream, which are a real gain for any avant-garde scene.

Goal Less Play is even more out-of-the-ordinary than FdM’s previous albums, as between its 14 songs there are 13 sound snippets, apparently made from what was lying around in the studio: fragments of sentences and seance-like muttering, electronically modified noises from devices that have long since outlived their usefulness as household articles, or the recording of musical instruments which one has yet to master.

If you cannot tolerate all this, then probably FdM is not for you. But who has the heart to venture into something unconventional, will definitely be thrilled. There’s only one thing that really gets annoying with the new record: the songs are just too beautiful to only last between 52 seconds and 3:06 minutes. A “normal” duration of three or four minutes would have been much nicer. But that’s typical for FdM, as even in the case of track lengths they are beyond the rule. After all, the listener shouldn’t get too comfortable …

Astute, innit?
(chaotic soul´s sound cloud)

Key Tracks: Wacfet, Sense of Surprise, A New Divine BH
Label: play loud! productions
Download / LP
Release Date: 10 August 2013

Read the full review here


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