Spring is Thomas Klein’s fourth Sølyst release on Bureau B, gleaned from material spanning the past three years. The time he has spent with these pieces has been time well spent. In revisiting them, he has posed new questions, rearranged and reworked some elements, dismissed or discarded others. The process of reappraisal has seen certain passages expanded upon, others pared away or refined.
In the beginning, a sequencer and a sequence; rumbling along, not too fast, deeper tones and minor keys. Swathed in drum patterns and percussion, a mesh of metal and the occasional, unannounced crash of drums, as on the shimmering Flex or Hold. Echoes and echo chambers, phasers and flangers used as glue: Spring, the (S)piral, a flexible, coiled spring, stretched, bent, twisted to fit the signal flow. Isolated sounds and vertical planes are added to the hypnotic, rhythmic framework, melodies are revealed on a nano level in transitions between nuanced layers and allusions.
With all these elements in play, Klein creates a cinematic atmosphere for the big or the small screen, heavily laden in subliminal darkness, more spectral than aggressively threatening. A sense of foreboding, perhaps – or the nervous excitement of seeing a storm gather on the horizon as one eagerly awaits the spectacle of thunder and lightning.
«Spring!» – a purple bud opens. The harbinger of a spring which teleports us back to a time before our own, or one which propels us forwards into the next year, the next decade, carries us home to our brightly lit nights, a club drenched in sweat. How we missed you.
Photophobic dancers, tar on their shoes, flashes of light, monochrome is our only colour. Spring is the soundtrack to a night such as this, plotting its course through to the late morning: take Sheroes and play it between Martin Rev and Chris & Cosey, take Atlas and play it, if you will, after Tolouse Low Trax. And before the doors reopen, take Spiral. The most seductive moments in all of these pieces are those in which Klein lets go of functionality, unleashes the groove and the space opens up, wider and wider, floating atmospherically into the late hours of the morning.
Spring slots into the genealogy of the three preceding albums – Sølyst (2011), Lead (2013), The Steam Age (2016). Not that there is anything wrong with that, and yet Spring reveals Klein at his most confident, opening up his field of vision to explore the margins of the structure he established on Sølyst. Each track on Spring hints at a fresh start. This is where Sølyst truly begins.
Dare yourself! Step onto the springboard! Spring!
Photo @Petra Bosch