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Horizontal Structures

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Album Review

On their second studio album together, Moritz von Oswald (programming, keyboards, percussion), Vladislav Delay (percussion), and Max Loderbauer (sequencer, synthesizer) are joined by guitarist Paul St. Hilaire (a frequent collaborator with von Oswald's Rhythm & Sound) and double bassist Marc Muellbauer. The new elements do not obscure the trio’s potency as improvisational hypnotists. St. Hilaire's presence is rather slight, providing gentle, sometimes circular prickles. Muellbauer anchors the majority of the 15-minute “Structure 2” with a furtive dub bassline as the other instruments swarm and tap around him; on “Structure 4,” the busiest track, his role is very different, providing interjections that are percussive more than anything else. Von Oswald, Delay, and Loderbauer are accommodating, playing more openly here than on Vertical Ascent. There is no clutter — just immaculately sculpted and pared-down improvisations that reveal deep nuances with each play. As is the case with the trio’s debut, nothing will throw the listener around the room: the most violent sound in the hour-long set comes from a thumped tambourine (or something like it). But it’s all quietly dazzling, a sinuous fusion of jazz, dub, and techno that pulls from German, African, Jamaican, and Latin forms without the slightest hint of stuffiness.


Born: 1962 in Hamburg, Germany

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Moritz von Oswald Trio featured Vladislav Delay (percussion), Max Loderbauer (sequencer, synthesizer), and von Oswald himself (programming, keyboards, percussion). When they aligned, the three musicians had long-established reputations as major figures within electronic music. Among his many achievements, von Oswald pioneered dub techno with the Basic Channel and Chain Reaction labels. Delay, born Sasu Ripatti, released material on Chain Reaction and produced some exceptionally sensual and cerebral...
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Horizontal Structures, Moritz Von Oswald Trio
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