Consequences 1 (Variations on a Theme)Anti-Ghost Moon Ray Records
Berholz is the name of the solo out-wardly experimental explorations of one member of Brighton's Duke Raoul. Most of the tracks in this release are very brief, only a couple stretch over two minutes creating a flickering tapestry of an album that offers up a lot of very neatly realised ideas in its brief twenty minutes.
Starting off with a minute of loose jazz-based bass & voice freestyle that segues through fifty seconds of prettily delayed white tone, then real beats kick in; for ninety seconds a clicking see-saw of minimalism is seduced by luscious grey hum that all simmers away to starkness.
The fourth track builds on the third, the minimal clean lines to all sounds are there, an organ playing a short chiming refrain that rolls around in small cycles, disappearing under a rumbling bass mid-section, then reappearing on the other side loaded up on effects. The piece is fleshed out of the longest running time of 4:26, giving the listener their first and only chance to really immerse and breathe in the ambience and feel the languid pace of the rhythm.
On the fifth, Beach Boys harmonies back a fatter dirtier bass-drum beat, the skin reverberating with the solid thumps propelling the track along, the vocals floating lazily over the top like they were basking under Californian sun – a fantasy which the atonal grinding tone between them attempts to aggravate as best it can.
The ninth track breaks up the smoothness by chopping into the rhythm with an almost glitch-like disrespect for form, but the trajectory isn't separated by too much to actually vibrate your teeth out with dissonance, the track progressing with a linearity to lock on to. The final piece is three minutes of vocal harmony, voices layered upon on another, firm toned, heavy breath and sighing.
The ten tracks are each titled with a simple number from one to ten 1,2,3 – but not in sequence. Reordering the album into track title sees it play with equal, if not more success, so it's worth giving both orders a listen. Minimalist abstract art jokes. The music is no joke. Excellent stuff.