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Jack Hertz - Masks (Jack Hertz & Eisenlager CD (album) cover

MASKS (JACK HERTZ & EISENLAGER

Jack Hertz

 

Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 1 ratings

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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars 2017 sees the release of another collaboration from Jack Hertz, this time alongside German experimental sound artist Eisenlager. `Masks' offers eight interpretations for a broad range of ceremonial, religious, theatrical and ornamental masks, with the album frequently weaving ancient old-world elements with modern electronic styles, making for a varied but surprisingly coherent collection of ambient, prog-electronic, electronica and drone experimentation over field recording sound collages.

`Zangbeto', traditional voodoo guardians of the night, is a drowsy tribal chant over lurching beats, `Avatar', a graphical representation of a computer user's alter ego or character is unsurprisingly modern slinking electronica, and `Topeng', a dramatic form of Indonesian dance blends twitching looping electronics to bring a gamelan-like hypnotic quality. `Batak' grafts chilled panning beats to shivering Steve Roach-like outreaching ambient pools, the drowsy `Skin-Walker' crosses murky beats with violent electronic slivers, and `Death' is an eerie and subtly consuming machine drone that never becomes completely pitch-black. Low-key acoustic strums pervade the disorientating droning drifts of`Gas' , and `Ngil' is a surreal dark ambient closer full of unease, with ebbing dozy washes lapping around pulsing beats that skitter in and out of the darkly psychedelic atmosphere.

The duo here have crafted a completely fascinating work for the Aural Films label with a cool concept that allowed them to offer a very colourful and eclectic range of interpretations of their source material. `Masks' also sees the artists at a good middle ground, with many pieces reasonably accessible without being vaguely commercial, yet always remaining intelligent and challenging, but nor is it as uncompromising or difficult to get your head around as might have been expected. Open minded electronic fans should definitely look into this diverse collection, and let's hope for more collaborations on this subject between Hertz and Eisenlager in the future, as it seems like they've just scratched the surface here!

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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