After a four-year gap, Munich electronic composer, Thomas Bücker, finally releases the anticipated follow-up to his faux-classical monikered, Bersarin Quartett, debut in 2008. With a title that gives nothing away, II is a gravitational-pull sized, shifting monolith of expansive ambient soundscapes and sonorous swelling strings, piano and bowing double-bass.
Ominous in mood, Bücker’s intense sprawling magnum opus sounds like a grand résumé for future soundtrack work; each incipient composition a eulogy to some adversity or another which pits the hero, or heroine, against a monumental, stirring landscape. Hinting at such notable luminaries as Phillip Glass and fellow Teutonic pioneers Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream, the general tone is palatial, and mixes post-classiscm with evocative broody washes of synth and flickering, oscillating and buzzing effects.
Titan-shaking opener, Niemals Zurück (Never Back), exemplifies Bücker’s, seemingly, sad, moving, poignancy and burgeoning long pauses. Whilst, Im Lithte Des Anderen (The Others In The Light), alludes to an otherworldly presence and, Rot Und Schwarz (Red And Black), transports us into deep-space aboard the Nostromo. Beats themselves are light on the ground and kept to a minimum – the heralded, droplet furnished strings led, Alles Ist Ein Wonder (Everything Is A Miracle), being one of the only tracks to allow a sparse smattering of skipping, glitch-beats, before evaporating back into the ether spread Foley.
Interspersed amongst the glacier-thawing-speed epics, there are brief interruptions of satellite probing bleeps – Der Mond, Der Schnee Und Du (The Moon, The Snow And You) – and intimate, shimmering piano soliloquies – Keine Angst (Do Not Be Afraid). Beauty is there to be found throughout the album’s 78-minute running time, with lilting and often drifting sweeps of hearty reflection appearing from the darkness.
A solo listening experience, no doubt, II deserves your unabided attention and cannot be tackled lightly: a filmic score of challenging melancholy and strife, chiselled out of rock and granite. In short, an amazingly assiduous piece of composing.