Review: Christian Löffler Trilogy
Assumably, drastic solitude plays a key role in Christian Löffler’s creative success. Whilst many of his peers’ sonic obsessions were seeded in more fertile landscapes, the Ki label co-owner has had no such luxury. Spending his formative years experimenting with musical ideas in a veritable techno desert, influential material was meagre if not non-existent. Entirely self-taught, Loffler has defied the odds against him to forge an unforgettably unique sound that brings the listeners’ emotions to the frontier.
Fast forward to 2016, he is isolated again. This time, voluntarily: in the desolate seclusion of a remote forested coastal location to record his second album, ‘Mare’. Over the last couple of months, we’ve watched with intrigue as he gradually releases a trio of tracks from the forthcoming LP. First came ‘Licht’, an introspective yet optimistic track with soft alpine cowbells fluttering overhead as he seams together malleable minimal techno beats and subtle, dreamy vocals. Evidently, Loffler is continuing to challenge House and Techno conventionalism with more of his elegiac yet euphoric tone.
Next came ‘Wilderness’, a steadily flowing track with unashamedly poppy vocals from long-term collaborator Mohna, combined with uplifting percussions and a restorative piano sample throughout. From what we have seen so far, the result is more or less stylistically aligned with his widely acclaimed debut ‘A Forest’. This time however, he ditches earlier heavy sampling techniques in favour of more DIY methods.
Armed with an inherited Marimba, a Mandolinzither and other small sound-generating devices, Löffler set up microphones everywhere in and around his waterside log cabin, self-recording every element of the record. Seemingly, this new, organic approach has done wonders. Completing the trilogy, he finally releases ‘Reubin’- a melancholic number with vocals that murmur over naturally evolving beats, as he seamlessly navigates his way through ambient interims.
Christian is not alone in adopting solitary confinement; solitude as an artistic method has been done many times before, across all disciplines. Granted, self-banishing yourself to the Dars Peninsular for months on end is impressive by anyone’s standards. Sitting there, alone and working, with no escape from your emotions, your memories and the material you're working on, makes for a markedly painful challenge. With what we have seen so far of ‘Mare’- Löffler perfectly executes that happy/sad balance and continues to produce arrestingly beautiful music that we personally don’t tire of.