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Jack Hertz - The Lighthouse (Jack Hertz & Christian Fiesel) CD (album) cover


Jack Hertz


Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 1 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Electronic artists Jack Hertz and Christian Fiesel have delivered numerous collaborative works together over the years, and their 2018 release proves to be one of their most special yet. `The Lighthouse' reveals itself to be an evocative title to be taken in both a literal sense and metaphorical interpretation, so while on the surface it's an exploration of beaches, mountains, ports and faraway places between land and sea, the various improvisations here also score a series of dark and unpredictable environments often punctuated with light and solace. Despite the release being a double CD, the duo stress that the album tracks are best played in a random order, with each piece being its own standalone soundtrack, and musically it blurs a range of vintage and modern electronic styles with experimental touches into unhurried arrangements.

Looking at some of the highlights, the ringing distorted rising/falling slivers, swirling effects and lulling drones of `Birds Nest at the Coastline' call to mind the early `Krautrock'-era Tangerine Dream albums, and the lightly psychedelic `Frozen Coast' is dreamy n' drowsy with no shortage of twitching electronic wisps. Soothing ambient caresses that pepper `Giant Lens' are flecked with jaggedly cavernous unease and pulsing loops, and the ethereal hums of `Heaven's Slide' weave between a backdrop of field recordings of steam powered vessels to craft an evocative soundworld.

The shimmering `Inlet Bay' is a frequently graceful space-music drift, `Outer Banks' a droning sound-collage of alien intrigue and stormy ambience, the gentle cooing synths alongside low-key Mellotron choirs of `Pier to Faraway Places' are delicate and reflective with an aching longing, and `Surf' is a restless Berlin School thriller of bubbling synths and shades of Tangerine Dream's classic `Phaedra'. Twenty-minute title track `The Lighthouse' is languidly hallucinogenic and completely enveloping, a fog of precious chimes, skittering fizzes and groaning Mellotron choirs that stretch on into infinity, and when it becomes fraught with little ghostly haunting touches and traces of a lethargic unease, it proves to be a masterclass in subtly increasing drama and growing unrest.

Challenging but not impenetrable, measured but never aimless, `Lighthouse' blurs multiple electronic styles into a kaleidoscope of aural delights that delivers endless moments of supreme beauty, deep contemplative immersion and even fascinating disquiet, and Hertz and Fiesel have delivered a stunning and unpredictably trippy ambient work of mind-bending prog-electronic beauty.

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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