In spots it seems like Andreas Männchen wants to weed out the sonic weaklings with the first track of his new release, Float. After a wayward, tangled keyboard melody charmingly staggers around for a few minutes, Männchen fires up some dental-drill quality guitar feedback to see if you can keep listening. If you like your music on the experimental edge, at that point where the music/sound/noise line is scuffed and nearly imperceptible, you should try to get through. Because while Float can be very challenging, it’s also quite intriguing and thoughtfully put together. Männchen sandblasts his sound sources, leaving them peppered with glitches, jump-cuts, holes and seriously roughened textures. Nothing here is smooth; it’s meant to be felt on an almost tactile level. The strongest track on Float is “Molecular Stream,” which sends a host of sound-shapes careening around a simple, repeated motif on piano. That simplicity gives a sense of character, something just trying to stand on its own among everything happening around it. The sounds rise and thicken into a chordal accompaniment and the piano keeps asserting itself. It’s captivating, and even more so toward the end when Männchen deconstructs it. Männchen touches on drone and minimalism in spots, as with “Parachutes,” which builds itself on a flatline tone and fills with sparkling, random piano tones that feel like they’re falling from nowhere.
For the most part, Float is not the easiest listen out there. It asks a little patience of its listener, and pays it off fairly well. While the more aggressive aspects of it initially put me off, once I could sort of mentally scrape away the rough hide, I discovered something more palatable deeper within it. Although it’s more for experimental music appreciators, Float is worth at least taking the time to check out samples online.
Available at Bandcamp.