Moritz Von Oswald Trio – Vertical Ascent

December 17, 2009

The Moritz Von Oswald Trio’s “Vertical Ascent” stands out, in my mind at least, as one of the year’s most interesting albums of electronic music. I suppose my excuse for not writing about it until now (it came out this past summer) is that it’s a complex work that reveals itself only gradually over time. So while it didn’t really jump out at me the first time I listened, it’s been on my playlist pretty regularly now for six months running.

Repetitive percussion plays the key role on all four of the extended tracks on this lp, though the overall feel is much more contemplative than dance-oriented. My favorites here, “Pattern 1” and “Pattern 3,” might best be described as jazz-influenced dub/techno — it almost sounds like early-to-mid-1970s-era Herbie Hancock is lurking there, someplace in the background.

This music is “thought-provoking” in every way. Regardless of whether you’re listening closely, thinking about the compositions themselves, or using the music as background to focus on something else, you’ll come away feeling more enlightened each time.

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