Marcello23 - Zeitgeist - SD-119
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Zeitgeist is Marcello23's second release on Spheredelic and takes you into multi-layered and yet always finely nuanced sound spaces that oscillate somewhere between chillout house, downtempo, ambient and IDM, but elaborate their very own musical language.
Marcello23 doesn't just sound like Café del Mar, Aphex Twin or Vangelis. Rather, he manages to find exactly the intersections of these genres and their characteristics and thus create a highly changeable body of work that never seems repetitive or confined within genre boundaries. This is also pretty evident in the overall structure of Zeitgeist. The first half of the album (until Mondfinsternis) is clearly more ethereal, flowing towards the listener in expansive, Balearic ambient pads and caressing the ears with buzzing, organic leads, which can be more instrumental in the sense of sitar, harps or electric guitar melodies, that wrap around the cosmic sound carpets (Mad Stomach, Mad Hatter, Christman 50s, Weekend Session), but also in the proven Aphex Twin manner as bleeps and bloops, i.e. frequency sweeps, adding a pinch of IDM character (Pita, Mondfinsternis).
What is particularly appealing is this lively interplay of digital-like production and instrumental elements, which are mostly complemented by shallow, but nevertheless leisurely impulsive drums in the background. This interplay, the dissolution of the supposed dichotomy of digital vs. analogue, is what is particularly charismatic about Zeitgeist. For the blurring of these boundaries can be found in every detail: even in the rhythm elements, a lot of the possible sound spectrum of drums resonates. From rather hi-hat, IDM-like drums (Pita) to housy dance drums (Heaven Can Wait), 90s-esque breakbeat samples (Christman 50s) and tabour sounds (Mad Hatter), there can be found a huge variety in terms of rhythm.
From Mondfinsternis onwards, Zeitgeist becomes a little faster and more danceable on the second half of the album, sometimes taking on house-like traits (New Islands, Heaven Can Wait) or letting a hint of electro-swing (Da Butcher) resonate. Despite all the sonic nuances and explorations, Zeitgeist remains true to itself in terms of sound design and weaves all the elements described into a spherical, effects-infused and varied overall context. From organic instrumental sounds to wide, echoing pad landscapes, Vangelis-like horn synths (Black Hole Moon), rather linear rhythm carpets to interlaced drums and frequency sweeps, there is a lot of diversity to be found on Zeitgeist, while, it cannot be said often enough, creating and leaving behind a very unique, eclectic atmosphere.
Also notable: Marcello23 finds exactly the balance of flowing, cosmic-etheric sound and stimulating compositional elements, despite the heavy use of reverb and delay typical for chill house or ambient. And that's exactly why Zeitgeist never slips into pathetic realms. All that remains is to say: switch on your PC, Laptop or mobile phone, download Zeitgeist, turn up your speakers and enjoy!