Dictaphone is a duo comprising Oliver Doerell and Roger
Döring. The sleeve informs us that instruments
and arrangements are credited to both, saxophones and
clarinets to Döring exclusively. Oddly, the latter
acknowledgement is something of a relief. Let me explain,
though I doubt I’ll be able to justify what probably
ultimately amounts to something of a prejudice.
Although I could probably have been fooled very easily,
the prospect of another electronica record anonymously
sampling another jazz record was a dismaying prospect.
It’s impossible to know a priori, but it does
seem that the integration between electronic and acoustic
instruments is subtler than the normal laptop modus
operandi, and as I said earlier this could just be prejudice.
While I’m at it, I’ll air another reservation
borne out by the quality of this release, namely the
greater depth achieved by collaboration than that of
a solo artist. This, I’ll acknowledge, isn’t
something that always obtains, but I do believe that
the potential to reach deeper is greater when people
work together than alone.
First impressions of Vertigo II are borne out
on further listening. The music is a detailed melding
of electronic and acoustic elements. What first draws
the attention and succeeds in holding it thereafter
are the woodwind lines and shadings. Second track Night
Rain in particular, appears to draw a warm, involving
breath out of the instrument. It’s a (repeated)
moment of abstracted feeling that is expressed as a
delicate sense of mourning. There’s a hint, a
memory, of Philip Glass’s Islands in
there as well. All the while, the pitter-patter of beats,
the abstracted swish of rain-washed streets and murmur
of German voices. The clarinet on K1 imparts
an unexpected Jewish ambience. Jarszewko tunes
into juddering foreign voices and marries them to crackle
and stutter and lowering strings. It’s all over
in a minute and a third. And so Vertigo II
progresses to its close, a delicate, exquisite work.