STRIË: Sléptis (Soundscaping Records)


Posted on Dec 14th 2010 01:13 am

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Strië: Sléptis

Soundscaping Records 2010
10 Tracks. 56mins26secs

Norman Records: CD

Who exactly is Iden Reinhart, the artist hiding behind Strië, is something of a tightly kept secret. While the Soundscaping website remains pretty vague about the project, we are informed that Reinhart ‘is a retired prodigy actress and cellist’ who appears to live a secluded life somewhere in a rural town in central Europe. This is certainly enough to create more than an element of intrigue around Strië, which is not dispel by the fact that she has recently been seen performing alongside Greg Haines or has contributed to Erik Skodvin’s recent album, Flare, on Sonic Pieces. Sléptis spreads its wings across modern classical, electronic soundscapes, sprinkled with light field recordings and occasionally tinted with eerie processed vocals or dislocated spoken words, and abstract jazz, never quite settling on any particular genre, but never quite intently bringing them together in one unique form of expression either. Perhaps the apparent disparate nature of this collection can be attributed to the fact that these ten tracks have, are we told, been picked from recordings spanning a number of years, yet, Sléptis is everything but a disparate record. Indeed, while there is a constant shift of influence throughout, the overall work is masterfully developed into one haunting soundtrack.

Sléptis is such a complex affair that it is quite difficult to know exactly where to start. Neither dark nor light, the album goes through phases where the intensity of the music or soundscapes varies greatly, fluctuating between the slow progressive chords and odd melodic shimmer of noises of opening piece Expiring Of Identity, the abstract backdrops on pieces such as Infected Realism or Fragments Of The Past, over which themes fail to root convincingly and end up collapsing upon themselves, and the more delicate and intricate musical forms of pieces such as Fading Away, crafted around a decaying piano and a recurring operatic sample, the flowing swathes of strings wrapped around a slightly tainted guitar motif found on Hiding In The Wardrobe, or the surprisingly straightforward melodic structure of Excuse, albeit cast in the somewhat mechanical rot which develops around it. In between, there are moments where abstraction and concrete musicality attempt to cohabit (Alone In The Crowd, Crack In The Boards) often to chilling effect, and others where Reinhart’s unusual little vignettes are at their most inspiring and (Simulated Sleep).

Following credited closing piece Subtraction, which draws a series of minimal yet dense chords around a stripped down piano sequence, paced by the ticking of an old clock, Reinhart drops much of her fragmented soundscapes to settle into a smooth jazz club number, but this refined setting is rapidly distorted, almost superimposed upon itself, but not quite, so things become for a moment rather disconcerting, as if two formations were each playing a different track in the same room.

It would seem that Iden Reinhart is as elusive as her music, and Sléptis is certainly an album which reveals its secrets very reluctantly. This is actually what is fascinating about it, and continues to intrigue as the listener become better acquainted with it. It never becomes truly familiar though, its many meanders and hidden layers ensuring that enough remains concealed to retain part of its mystery.


Soundscaping Records
Norman Records: CD

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One Response to “STRIË: Sléptis (Soundscaping Records)”

  1. THE 2010 REVIEW | themilkfactoryon 19 Dec 2010 at 9:02 pm

    […] SEELAND How To Live (LoAF) 42. DANÍEL BJARNASON Processions (Bedroom Community) 43. STRIË Sléptis (Soundscaping Records) 44. BILL WELLS & STEFAN SCHNEIDER Pianotapes (Karaoke Kalk) 45. […]