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KLEISTWAHR - Common Values

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: Fourth Dimension Records FDCD139
Release Year: 2022
Note: 7th album on Fourth Dim. since 2014, the 'second incarnation' of the project.. 6 new tracks, a perfect mixture of noise, melancholy and despair.. - "MUNDY uses a guitar, organ, synthesizers, and a plethora of sound effects and creates a multi-layered, orchestral sound...It is dark and grim, as opposed to dark and pleasantly atmospheric. The soundtrack for harsh times.... An excellent album all around, and KLEISTWAHR goes from strength to strength." [FdW / Vital Weekly]
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"Since 2014 Gary Mundy of Ramleh and Breathless has been releasing most of his solo work through Fourth Dimension Records. Common Values is his seventh such album for the label (not including a reissue of 2009s The Return album, originally released on vinyl by USAs long gone by legendary Noiseville, and the LP reissues of the Broken Flag albums Mobility and Do Not also shipping in October 2022) and gathers another six mighty cuts that on one hand continue his penchant for exploring more serrated sonic landscapes and, on the other, keep those in check with a tempered approach to atmospherics that this time round is widened further by almost kosmische-like curdled organ playing,, electronic swirl, psychedelic guitar mainlined from one of Saturns outer rings, and occasional haunting yet despairing vocals that are more pronounced than ever before. Common Values is a title itself that simultaneously commands empathy as well as a wry nod towards the irony at work. If anything serves as a common thread in all of Garys work then its not only in his love of stratospheric sounds, but also this deep sense of anguish due to hoping things will improve whilst knowing that humanity is its own worst enemy. Its this quality that binds his music together and is laid barest in Kleistwahr. Common Values sounds both like a basic recognition of a quality most individuals are possessed with whilst they tear each other apart because of perceived differences or a disagreement over fundamental truths. If Kleistwahr tread any line, then its right here. Common Values might well be illuminating this more than ever.
This is the thirteenth Kleistwahr album since 1983's Myth (reissued as a limited edition LP by Harbinger Sound in 2011).
Packaged as usual in gatefold-LP style sleeve in a characteristic Broken Flag design once again featuring fantastic photos by Chris Low, this album appeared in late October 2022 and is shipping now. 300 only."


"Gary Mundy might be best known as the man behind Ramleh (well, to the readers of these pages), but Ramleh is a group (I may have used this opening line
before). Kleistwahr is his solo project, and after a short period of activity in the 80s, releasing four cassettes (all re-issued on vinyl), he started again in 2010, and it's now the work he's most active with. His current Kleistwahr doesn't sound like the old incarnation, which was noisy and collage-like. The current Kleistwahr is noisy too, but a different kind of noise. Mundy uses a guitar, organ, synthesizers, and a plethora of sound effects and creates a multi-layered, orchestral sound. No doubt there is new technology available these days that allows him to use multiple layers in the music. As I noted before, Kleistwahr's music is not here to cheer anyone up. It is dark and grim, as opposed to dark and pleasantly atmospheric. The soundtrack for harsh times, and luckily (?) we have plenty of those these days. I wonder what the 'Common Values' are, according to Mundy. The titles of the pieces are puzzling, anyway. There is 'Time To Realise', 'Heaven Maybe Never', 'Toward A New
Land' or 'In Blood Covered Land', all of which don't provide clues but leave much to guess (and, yes, it sounds grim) Kleistwahr's music is not piercingly loud, but somehow pierces right into your brain. When vocals are used, they sound far away, like a cry for help or a howl of pain. Maybe the voice is that one thing that sounds like Ramleh. The harpsichord sound I heard before (Vital Weekly 1271) returns here and has that haunted house, shivers down the spine sound. The title track is the longest, and following the loudest start, the volume drops, and Kleistwahr is off to a collage of voices and suppressed sounds and is more a collage piece, as opposed to the others, which are layered and psychedelic noise pieces. An excellent album all around, and Kleistwahr goes from strength to strength." [FdW / Vital Weekly]