When I think of Switzerland, I first think of their high-tech industry and not of music. Most call this “occupational deformation”. When you take a close look at Roland Bühlmann you also can say that he's some kind of high-tech musician.
Roland Bühlmann lives in the Swiss city of Oekingen. With the album Crucial he releases his third album. The high-tech factor of Roland Bühlmann is that he did almost everything himself on the album. Even the artwork and the photography was done by himself. Only the mastering was outsourced at Mark Wingfield's Heron Island Studio in the UK.
At least I find it remarkable to read that the album Crucial is some kind of one man show. And I say this with respect. This respect increased when I read all the instruments and attributes Roland used on this album. Hereby the overview:
Electric and Bass Guitars, Aeon Sustainer (1, 2, 4, 8), Grasses (3, 6), Guitalele (1, 4), Hanottere (1), Kinnor (1, 6, 7), Mandola (5), Shofar (4), Whistle (3), Voice (7), Wine Glasses (1, 8), Percussion: Branches, Knifes, Leaves, Oil Tank, Stones, Udu (6), Wrenches
After listening to the album several times, my personal conclusion was that this is an album which fits in the minimal progressive rock genre. Don't expect catchy guitar solos and melodic vocals. Crucial is a concatenation of sounds, soundscapes and atmospheres. When you give it a chance you also discover cadence in most of the tracks.
I think that if you like minimal music with a lot of tension in it, this is an album which deserves a try. I found the album an exploring and at the end I liked it very much. I must confess that I had to listen to it several times before it captured me. So it's a diamond which has to grow.
*** Aad Bannink (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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