“The Undercurrent” is assembled from shelved, unreleased music German synthesist Michael Brückner made between 2013 and 2019. This modus operandi may lead to an incoherent outcome, but the opposite is the result on the 77-minute release as all tracks share a similar vibe, intensity and character.
For the composer they not only reflect personal feelings about a lot of things happening on in the world on the social, political and ecological level while also putting a spotlight on contrasts between sinister tendencies and bright hopes, between decay and growths and between stagnation and evolution. These topics and issues remind of the Robert Rich’s more current trilogy, but musically “The Undercurrent” turns out completely different.
The result is rhythmic, melodic and contemporary (briefly becoming progressive electronic on “Activate!”) incorporating reflective ambient passages (“Mount Tuna”) with fresh, spiced-up excursions (“A Greater Hope”-reprise) wherein a variety of pastel colours pass by along some melodic solo-voices. Aside of this, classic Berlin School flow through some of the album’s veins as well, most notably on the 21-minute epic piece “The Unanswered Question”. Overall I feel Michael is at his best when solos are left out and strings of catchy sequencer patterns paired with assorted rhythm create beams of wonderful, versatile energy as heard on “24 Hours and 16 Days”.
P.S. The download edition of “The Undercurrent” comes with three bonus tracks.
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Michael Brückner artist page.
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