Le Mur is a trio from Bochum, Germany, consisting of Georgios Dosis (drums), Janine Ficklscherer (bass) and Matthias Graef (guitar, vocals, organ and saxophone). The band was formed in 2006. End of 2011 they recorded their first album In Tenebris. Due to problems with the English this album was released in 2014, so the second album Silentia Nova therefore was the first album that was available. They are part 1 and 2 of a trilogy.
Le Mur describes their music as heavy dark trip rock. The drums and bass guitar both have a prominent role in it. The drums are quite sober, apart from a few passages. The bass guitar plays the melody dry and tight. Then the guitar, saxophone, organ and synthesizer build up on that. These instruments are never mixed, as if it was recorded live, where Matthias Graef can only play one instrument at the time. Most tracks are instrumentals, although there are some vocal parts (both in English and German).
They mix elements of prog rock, space rock, psychedelica, heavy rock, jazz rock and even a bit of funk. And of course krautrock... There is an element of Guru Guru in their music although the drum style is different from Mani Neumeier. Also it reminds me a lot of My Solid Ground, a German band that existed only for a short while and released one eponymous album in 1971 that was rather obscure at the time and became a much wanted gem later on.
The psychedelic music from the late 1960s and 1970s is popular again, and Le Mur is one of those many young bands that try to capture the vibe of those days. Like many releases in this genre, Silentia Nova is only released on LP, in an edition of 500 coloured and hand-numbered copies. Modern technology has made it possible to record a proper album at home. With the right software the laptop can be used as an instrument, recorder, effects processor and for mixing and mastering. As a band you don't need to spend a few long days in the studio because the studio time is so expensive. You don't need to make a record deal to pay for it, a deal that later becomes a dead weight on your shoulders. You have the artistic freedom to experiment because there is no record company pushing for a commercial single. But on the downside an experienced producer can teach a young and un-experienced band a lot of studio tricks and techniques. Sometimes the view from an outsider can give better results.
As a whole Silentia Nova sounds sterile. It simply lacks that little bit of magic.
**+ Erik Gibbels (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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