Talvekoidik: Silent Reflections

Talvekoidik (German musician Kai Christian Hahnewald) gives a symphonic boost to Silent Reflections' neo-classical moodscapes by slathering the material with piano and brooding strings and infusing it with Scandinavian, Baltic, Arabic and African musical flavour. Hahnewald's Talvekoidik (an Estonian word that means foggy, winter-like atmosphere) material is suitably dense, epic in design but melancholy in character. The album gets off to a strong start with the alternately brooding and uplifting “Such a Perfect Day.” Though offset by churning machine beats and muffled by a heavy, almost oppressive thrum, a keening Celtic theme brings a lonely folk feel to “Rough Baltic Shore.” Shortly thereafter, Arabic percussion and melodies transport the listener to a different part of the world in “Sandstorm.” Hahnewald could exercise a bit more control over the epic dimension, however, as it can turn into bombast if not carefully reined in. Nightmarish beat clatter and sawing strings almost push “Eismeer” over the top, for example, and “Silent Reflections” verges on overwrought. It's certainly a generous package with three steamrolling remixes by Heimstatt Yipotash (a writhing breakcore treatment of “Eismeer”), Fragment King (a hammering “Atlas” mix), and 16pad Noiseterrorist (a Moog-saturated screechfest version of “Eismeer”) helping push the release over the seventy-six minute mark.

January 2008