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Modelbau / Reviews

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Vital Weekly

"Classic episodes of “The Twilight Zone” are marked by an ironic twist at the end, and these three new albums by Mr Vital Weekly himself, Frans de Waard, have a surprise in store. Quest might be the name he’s used for “ambient” music since the 1990s, but “Yesternights” is not the most ambient of his latest batch of releases! That honour goes to the Modelbau tape called “The Invaders”, named fittingly after a nearly dialogue-free TZ story. Two 28-minute washes of glacial grey hush that unfold patiently, one on each side of a cassette, without calling much attention to the composer’s moves. It’s chilly and distant, rolling out like a fog on a city street after everyone’s gone to sleep… or mysteriously vanished. The implacable techno-paranoiac threat continues with “The Lateness of the Hour”, a relatively more active (which is to say: not particularly active) set of songs that robots might hum to themselves after they’ve taken over. Both tapes seethe with unnerving calm, ambient but in no way relaxing… foreground ambience that might keep you awake at night. The occasional ringing clang of metal junk punctuates beds of eerily undulating synthesizers and murk. Even distant bird calls, which in other contexts might be a reassuring nod to life on Earth, somehow contribute to the atmosphere of creeping post-human dread."

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