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A Choir of Empty Beds

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Album Review

With Aphex Twin on sabbatical and µ-Ziq relatively happy favoring electro over emotion, B. Fleischmann has taken up the slack to make an album of brittle, sweet electronic gurglings. A Choir of Empty Beds is an entirely successful entry in the genre that might be calledintrospection'n'bass. Echoing the substance of his Morr Music peers, these nine songs wouldn't sound out of place on a circa 1968 Stanley Kubrick film. Of course, the film would have to contain a pathos absent in the work of Kubrick, because songs like "It's All So," "Sono," and the touching "Good Bye" are pristinely serene. The keyboards and odd, bubbling electronics seem to cry as expert knob twidder Fleischmann infuses the tracks with a remarkable sense of feeling. It's a rare thing when this high a level of emotion is sustained throughout 60 minutes of experimental electronic music. It's not that the instruments wail and sound mournful; Fleischmann expresses emotion through repetitive, pretty melodies. There is also a great sense of play to much of the album. "Play the Big A" brings to mind the "kid in a candystore" cliche; it's a track that's as fun as it is untouchably beautiful. Each song works as a minimalist symphony to happiness and/or existence. "Start" clicks, flutters, and struts like a Mouse on Mars track with more warmth. Warmth really is the dominant feeling of the album; Fleischmann presents a relatively stark contrast to the icy madness of Aphex Twin, even though the instruments and overall sound have so much in common. This is an album for fans of electronic music who favor feelings over style.


Born: 1975 in Vienna, Austria

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Born in Austria's capital in 1975, Bernhard Fleischmann got his musical start on the piano at age eight before turning to drums five years later as a student at the Hinterbrühl music school. He drummed in live bands for a seven-year stretch, from 1988 to 1995, playing with Speed Is Essential and Sore!. In 1998, the electronic music of the Vienna scene started catching his ear, and he switched over to the digital realm and began creating music on his laptop. Well-versed in the art of rhythm at this...
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A Choir of Empty Beds, B. Fleischmann
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