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Track Of The Day #584: Dieter Meier – The Ritual

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Swiss duo Yello are undoubtedly best known for the pivotal role they played in the evolution of electronic music, arguably every bit as influential as Kraftwerk or Afrika Bambaataa. News that the moustachioed frontman Dieter Meier has decided to produce his first solo LP will have had a certain section of techno trainspotters slavering in anticipation. But the first fruit from the album couldn’t be more different from what this reviewer was expecting, anyway.

Starting with a metronomic tick-tocking that sounds like a grandfather clock slowly dragging its way through a rainy Sunday afternoon, the booming voice of Meier begins to weave a tale of loss, of the nightly ritual of hanging off a bar stool and waiting – quite possibly in vain – for the return of a loved one. He creates an eerie and desperate atmosphere, backed with a minimum of instrumentation, just a ghostly Mellotron keyboard and spacious, funereal rhythm as accompaniment.

This won’t be filling the floor down at Fabric or Ministry, then, but fans of the gothic torch songs of Nick Cave or Tom Waits will certainly be lapping it up.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.