Pechblende - Apathy and Silence
Following in line with the presentation of the "Ripples" release, also the title of this one hardly explains itself easily. Because we are actually able to listen to something, yes let us ignore those musical outputs similar to John Cage for a moment, and even though Apathy as well as Silence indicate much of a definite direction in terms of music and expression, it is possible to experience something of the sort. In case of this output, it an be pointed towards an circling around itself, a spinning in a certain circle, an idea that finds expression in certain but nevertheless distinct "regions". And even though the music follows in line with where the band had left off on the preceding album, it is nevertheless of a different kind.
With a layer that helps to set the musical basis, another one on top will lead the listener along. And while this is true for most of the previous release and this one as well, there is an exception of course. Interestingly in this case, it is possible to identify it right from the start. A minimalist ambient or at times drone influences texture in the background helps to set the overall mood, while on top repetitive motifs or arrangements appear. But this approach is not strictly followed through over the course of the release. "The Gathering of Angels" with odd sounds and arrangements deviates in a stark kind of way from all other pieces of music on this album. Naturally, the question arises why this is actually the case and what deeper meaning can be found in the approach and not to mention the arrangements that can be found in this one composition. Maybe it is a prerequisite to have such a conflicting element on an album in order to establish ... yes ... in order to establish what? Without words or something definite all is open to speculation.
"Apathy and Silence" comes with an increased amount of presence, though. The music is less condensed into a single musical sphere or layer, but attempts to provide each with a bit more space and clarity. Would this be the reason for two terms in the title? Is this increase in expression also the reason the cover artwork comes over as more distinguishable? Whatever the explanation behind all this may be, the quality of the music differs to some extent and it feels as if it has seen a slight dip. Somehow the atmosphere feels off and slightly too intense. What had been dreamy once, has moved to something less engaging and fascinating. This is definitely confusing, because the similarities in expressing the ideas, the musical setting are quite similar and alike. There is no clear break or reinvention so to speak. Instead it appears that the roles of the facets have received some polishing or some exploration, which at times results in this clarity that is not entirely convincing.
Why apathy? Why silence? While it is open to debate whether both, either or even neither of these have a positive connotation, the implications that are attributed to them are most certainly different than the ones regarding ripples. It is much more food for thoughts with this output and maybe this is the reason it is more to difficult to take a dive into it. Maybe this additional demand, this slight lack in easiness is what make it a bit off-putting.