Chance Reconstruction (Tench Records, 08.2010)
Byline: A microcosm of ambient-classical prettiness .
For: Labradford, LaMonte Young, Kyle Bobby Dunn
Punk, inherent in its form, is manifesto driven. With every molecule of available sound-space taken up it leaves no room for dialogue. A closed form. Aggressively ideologically driven, wielding a treatise like a meat cleaver. This sort of monolithic propulsion of sound, however, has no place in M. Ostermeier's exploratory ambient-classical compositions. Ostermeier weights and counterweights his ideas with a copious amount of silence allowing the listener to fill in spaces with whatever he/she brings to the table. For me, it was a prevailing sense of nostalgia, and not really the warm, 3rd grade photo kind. I filled Ostermeier's open-ended arrangements with a strange sort of nameless and untraceable lament for missed opportunities with loved ones. That sort of general sadness that people have to die. I can't even describe where it came from. But, compared to the heavy-hitters in the for section (whom he ranks up there with), Ostermeier's compositions carry the most emotional weight out of all them as he explores ambient fields full of glitching, sputtering beats, low-end destroying rumble-drones, and skeletal piano and guitar lines that ostensibly create the backbone of each track. But like any good writer, Ostermeier's gets by with saying more by saying less. In fact, there is little, except for what is piling up well below the surface, to tie the listener to each relatively short (in drone-time length) track. This is why, at only 35 minutes, Chance Reconstruction feels three times as long. This isn't meant as a slight in any way, it is so easy to fall into the lapping, building drones beneath the readily-audible piano/guitar lines, that extracting yourself from them is a difficult task.
By the way, this the debut album for Tench Records (TCH01!!!!). And Tench Records, thank you immensely for the gorgeous packaging on the M. Ostermeier, as I am consuming more and more media digitally (the name of the game in music blogging sadly) it is so nice to get something as aesthetically beautiful and mood setting as Chance Reconstruction. Photo credits to James Luckett Tench and M. Ostermeier, you're doing it right.