Track By Track – Ralf Hildenbeutel


A very apt record for the sudden corner we seem to have turned from Summer into Autumn, Ralf Hildenbeutel's album 'Moods' is profoundly melancholic in the best possible sense. An exploration and seamless interweaving of Classical and electronic composition, Ralf fluently communicates ideas and masterfully renders tones on an ambitiously cinematic scale, elegant and effortless in his success. It's experimental but has a prominent narrative, and a fair balance of weight is given to the phrases taken by the electronic and classical parts of the composition, and manages somehow to be unpredictable yet succinct in it's style. It's out on November 6th, and you can stream clips of it over here (highly, HIGHLY advised).

Ralf – Basically, for me it was important to get a very organic, kind of earthy sounding album. Therefore I decided to create my own little dogmas for the production process. Lots of plug-in instruments were "forbidden", lots of outboard equipment such as synthesizers, analog delays, compressors etc. have been used instead. 

Have a listen below to the record:


This track basically developed out of an inspiration on the piano. I liked the mood but wanted to have more of a "foggy" atmosphere around it. I layered this drone-pad under it, made with the feedback-signal of an analog delay. The beat which sneaks up is an old Hohner "Automatic-Rhythm-Player", an old find from a nice vintage store around the corner. I thought "Misty" is a nice piece to get into the mood of the album, the first door.


This track is quite an emotional piece and I wanted the listener to be "sitting" in the music. The mics for the piano were super close so you hear it "breathing", the strings recordings were made in a small room to get an very intimate sound.


I´m a big fan of the sordino technique for strings, the sound is so open and melancholic. I really wanted to use it on one of my tracks and "Salt" was the perfect piece for it. The strings seem to sing and talk to each other.


I was playing around with the Moog and the tape delay, using an arpeggiator and twiddling around with knobs and buttons. I liked the intensity and drive of it so much that I quickly pushed the record button and recorded it in one take. It´s sometimes nice to create music out of an instant mood.


An open, wide and quite peaceful track with a couple of guitars. Recording it felt a bit like summer, cornfields, slow-motion and corny stuff like this. Sometimes cliché feelings are just alright.


This track is actually quite upbuilding but in the same time it feels like slowly falling or a big deep inhalation. The layer-chords are played by melodica, clarinet and strings, I quite like the combination.


Somehow, I wanted to have this kind of "desert" vibe in this track. The guitar was re-recorded with a taperecorder and went back though a delay with reverse and down-pitch effect. Heavy compression resulted in more nice noise and in the background are several tape-reversed sounds. Don´t know why, but eventually I felt [Iwas] in [the] desert.


I´ve been working on this track for over an year, on and off. It was actually for a video-project with director Boris Seewald. The project took quite long and meanwhile I was working on my album. So, I included "Spark" on it as it fits somehow well and I think it´s a good "wake up" track on the album. The video from Boris with two ballet dancers turned out great and it has just been put online.


This is the most "epic“ track on the album. I wanted to find a very homogeneous mixture of the acoustic instruments and the electronic sounds. In the beginning of the whole album's production I wasn´t even clear wether to go more in an electronic or pure acoustic direction. At the end I decided to combine both worlds and "Ease" was one of the first tracks where I had the feeling it worked well.  


My piano prelude for this album. I always like to do little piano compositions. One day I´d love to release an piano school book with all of my collected piano works in it. The close sound of a piano has still something pure and touching for me.

'Moods' is out on 6th November on Ralf's label Rebecca & Nathan.