Monday, September 28, 2020
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cover
Artist: Roman Jungblut
Title: Back To Where It Never Started
Format: 12" + Download
Label: self-released
Established musician and sound artist Roman Jungblut mainly works in bands or on soundtrack and sound design work, as well as teaching, but his ‘proper’ musical releases have been very scarce, especially in the last decade. This is his first solo release to appear in his own name, without an alias, and it’s a distinctive set of sketches that draws from a variety of different sounds and genres, fusing some more classical composition elements with quite an angry and raw electronic melody work that generally sits front and centre and grabs all the attention.

“Detox - Retox” opens almost like a piece of EDM, atmospheric tension getting cut through by a gutpunching, bass-rich power note full of drama- but as it proceeds, this lead note starts meandering, almost drunkenly, like a rant that has made its point nowhere to go. “78-7-8” transplants a not dissimilar distorted and wailing melody onto a much more conventional piano arpeggio base, for the most accessible piece of the set. “Einsicht” also adopts a piano but far more sparingly, letting the classic contrast between gentle bell notes and screaming abstract electro-distortion (this time with hints of vocal noises) play out in confusing fashion.

It’s a short 23-minute EP, almost half of which is accounted for by final track “Two For Tooth”, which is much gentler, with warm synth arpeggios and wistful pads playing out a much less harsh affair. Some crisper sounds appear as it proceeds, but it’s always much more settled than what preceded it.

It’s synth work with character, particularly where it’s interjected with a fury and edginess that’s coupled with synthwave-ish sounds that are more often used to sound glib or confident. It’s clearly from an experienced and cutting-edge sound designer, and although it does feel a little more like a production showreel at times, it does stand out in its field.

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