The title of pianist Maike Zazie’s album might imply earth-shaking (seismo) or mental anguish (psycho, depending on your interpretation), but neither would really be accurate. What this album offers is a form of musical intimacy that’s thoughtful and largely quite romantic. Gentle ballad songs and casual, almost-ambient tinkling is supplemented by a combination of singing, softly-spoken-word poetry (spanning German, French and some English), and a handful of atmospheric sounds.
Although described as ‘minimal’, much of the piano work is not what I’d describe as such. The rich and firmly padded chords of “Sehnsucht” fill the room. There’s a boldness and drama to “Erdbeben”, with its crashes and hammered low notes, that ensures that this album is far from flat. But it also certainly has its fair share of straight-laced romance works- most obviously the very on-the-nose “Lieben”. There’s even a handful of pieces that could legitimately be called songs- “Kind” being one.
The result is a set of portraits that fits perfectly with the illustrative style of Giulia Pex seen in the artwork and throughout the accompanying booklet. It’s the musical equivalent of soft pastel work, mild and introspective, thoughtful and largely non-confrontational, aware of the darkness but moving around it rather than through it.