Rene Hell: The Terminal Symphony
I’ve been struggling to work out the best time of the day to listen to The Terminal Symphony. It’s not the sort of album that will to wrench you awake in the morning or one you’re going to reach for when getting geared up for a larger night out. Indeed I’m not sure you’d want to listen to it when you return from an intoxicated trip down town, unless you want to somehow supplement your staggering dizziness.
For what it’s worth, my moment of epiphany came halfway through an overcast Wednesday afternoon – a proper shiver run through me as the analogue arpeggios layered with sweeping tones washed the room. This sounds unbelievably and ridiculously exaggerated (and pretentious), but the moment happened so there.
You get the sense that Rene Hell (aka Jeff Witscher) wants his machines to do their own thing with little input from himself: Morse code Kosmische and data burbles seem to be allowed to run random across many of the tracks, and develop an order that is discernable but not truly comprehensible. And the lack of repetitive coherency throughout, where sounds and elements rise and fall seemingly arbitrarily is frustrating at first, but eventually becomes part of the album’s slow burning and building charm.
So if you like your vintage synth sounds and would like something that takes some time and attention, but isn’t too abstract to the point of being un-listenable, awkward and exasperating, then give Mr. Hell room in your library. I doubt many of you do like such things so I’ll fuck off now with a link for you to buy it if, by some miracle, you do.
And the lovely coda track of ‘Adagio for String Portrait’: