centrozoon – blast

Blast gradually took shape over the course of months in a barn refitted into a studio space. Compared to the giant analog synth constellations of the 70s, the set-up was remarkably lean, consisting of little more than a touch guitar, simple looping devices, a Yamaha SY35 and various effect pedals. An important role was reserved for the Roland MC303, which, in a case of happy misappropriation, provided atmospheric pad sounds and shadowy rhythm patterns. The result were four tracks of glacially shifting drones, whose serene spaciousness occasionally hinged at a classic like Tangerine Dream’s Zeit without ever copying it.

This luxurious new edition celebrates the album’s legacy at a time when centrozoon have moved into distinctly different musical territories. In the eyes of the band, this is their ‘director’s cut in 3D’ – a monolithic monument in time that respectfully honours and occasionally even ambitiously exceeds its inspirations.

A Listeners Guide to Blast:

German duo Centrozoon featuring Markus Reuter (on Warr Guitar) and Bernhard Wöstheinrich (on Synthesisers) have created a sound world that is both intriguing and captivating.

There are few signposts in the way of rhythms or solos to be found on the album. Instead each track is a collaboration of equals, where Reuter and Wöstheinrich meld their respective sonic palettes to create a work of texture, and poise.

In this quest for balance, the duo display an almost painterly concern for the use of space, tone and colour. Each aspect of the album is assiduously compiled and compacted, with luminous motifs and phrases sweeping up through the rich layers and fading away.

With so many amorphous and half-glimpsed events, its this use of ambiguity which almost paradoxically lends Blast its strength, ensuring that the listener remains engaged and part of the overall process.

Don’t be tempted to think this is tame ambient wallpaper. It’s not. There is a sureness of touch with ensures the music resonates vibrantly throughout each of the four tracks.

Blast is the duos first album for DiN and it contains a warm, passionate music suffused with a pulsating inner light. A work of remarkable maturing clarity from two fine young players.

Sid Smith
A TV documentary about centrozoon in Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), first broadcast on November 14, 2000

Markus Reuter – Processed Touch Guitar
Bernhard Wöstheinrich – Tonal and Rhythmic Modulations, Synthesizers

Mixed by Ian Boddy