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JULIUS, ROLF - Music for a Distance

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: Western Vinyl WV83
Release Year: 2011
Note: kind of farewell-release from this German sound-art & installation artist well known for his microcospic minimal ambience compositions, who died January 2011
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €13.00

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"Music for a Distance is the second release in the small music series. The title of the work in relation to the cover images (abstract photographs of Julius' wife resembling landscapes merging into a distant horizon) suggests a work of uncommon poetic perception and inspiration. With the opening track "Music for a Distance," Julius achieves a sensitive balance of unpredictability and deliberate design, at times resembling a symphony of insects, complete with crickets and cicadas and rustling leaves. Listening closely, you can hear old fractured melodies float by only to be hidden again under a thunderous sky and rain.


"Back in Vital Weekly we reviewed 'Music For Tears' by Rolf Julius, and we noted that he is quite famous in the field of sound art, but perhaps not that well-known in the world of Vital Weekly. Now that may of course change due to the good work of Western Vinyl, who plan a series of CDs with his 'small music'. 'Music For A Distance' is the second volume. Like before, or perhaps like always, we have no clue what it is that Julius does. The title piece was composed (or rather refined) over a six year period and its unclear what Julius does. Is it a bunch of field recordings? Like insects, crickets, cicadas, leaves, or perhaps something more mechanical? Played back from a bunch of CDRs perhaps, or something that creates the sound as they are, like small devices? What is sure that Julius' music is quite minimal. Not in a drone kind of sense, but hyperactive, with lots of sounds crawling like insects over eachother. Maybe there is a bit of sound processing? I really couldn't tell. Like 'Music For The Ears', 'Music For A Distance', which is with forty minutes the main piece here, creates an excellent sonic environment, and that's what Julius aims at. Could we call this ambient? Yes, perhaps we could. Music that fills your surrounding with a intelligent sound, and not some lift muzak, but never loud enough to be disturbing or confronting. There is also a difference between 'Music For The Ears' and this new work (apart from the time separated between recording - the main work here is from 2003-2009) and that's the volume of the music. Both 'Music For A Distance' and 'Music In A Corner' are quite audible, like those loud singing crickets in Japan, which are loud without being a nuisance. An excellent disc, once again!" [FdW/Vital Weekly]