Markus Mehr

Markus Mehr“… prepare for a shuddering, near chaotic, kaleidoscopic experience as Mehr challenges our and his own preconceptions of what “electronica” is, what it represents and of what his instrumentation can achieve.” – Delusions of Adequacy

Markus Mehr’s debut, Lava, holds true to its title – it is a dense, steaming surge of glue-thick sound. But, after any destructive force there is new growth. Green shoots of melody arc out of the surface and populate the terrain as new possibilities emerge. His follow-up triptych of works (In, On and Off) brought another level of conceptual and sonic experimentation to the table, advancing his stature in the field of contemporary experimental music.

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Discography

 

Re-Directed


April 2016

Re-Directed is a confrontational soundwork of digital surrealism, underpinned by a potent and timely theme: our dependence upon digital technology and communication, and how this dependence renders us vulnerable to exploitation. The project originated as an audiovisual performance with long-time collaborator Stefanie Sixt, for which Markus Mehr recorded hours of sound from servers, hard disks and mobile phones using induction microphones, rendering the inaudible audible and bringing the background noise of digital life into focus. Mehr’s lens is trained on our uncritical reliance upon the invisible systems that infiltrate our everyday lives, silently eating away at our capacity for self-determination.

Perhaps the most confrontational and abstract release in Mehr’s discography thus far, Re-Directed challenges the narrow confines of music, moving towards the realm of musique concrète. It demands active engagement from the listener, alongside acknowledgement of its conceptual nature. As challenging and complex as it may be, Re-Directed is an incredibly powerful and immersive listening experience for those willing to undertake the journey on Mehr’s terms.

 

In The Palm Of Your Hand – The Remix EP


October 2015

In the Palm of Your Hand – The Remix EP brings together four unique remixes of the track ‘In the Palm of Your Hand’, lifted from Mehr’s latest album, Binary Rooms.

The original album mix of ‘In the Palm of Your Hand’ maps out the dichotomy at the heart of Binary Rooms. While plaintive piano chords suggest openness and possibility, they’re perpetually hemmed in by a claustrophobic industrial throb, creating a tension that aches to be resolved. The first remix, by Hamburg duo incite/, ramps up the tension by slicing and dicing the ambient throb into a glitchy tapestry and smothering the piano in sonic gauze. Conga Fever dials back the ambience and juxtaposes the piano against a sun-dappled beatscape. Hidden Shoal labelmate Erik Nilsson makes the piano the focus, bringing in field recordings to create the feeling of a beautiful jazz improvisation taking place on a demolition site. And finally, David Kochs’ remix filters the haze of the original into sharp yet dreamy minimal techno.

Gymnasium​/​Swarms – Live with Orchestra


September 2015

‘Gymnasium/Swarms Live with Orchestra’ is a an amazing re-working of the original track, which appears in its original form on Mehr’s latest album, Binary Rooms. This special performance includes live orchestra and choir along with visuals by Stefanie Sixt.

As Markus Mehr explains in a new interview with Hidden Shoal’s Matthew Tomich, the live performance of ‘Gymnasium/Swarms’, which opened this year’s Modular Festival in Augsburg, Germany, involved Mehr’s collaboration with conductor Michael Kamm, plus the Modular Orchestra and Chamber Choir of Augsburg University. The live video by Florian Strandl depicts the musicians masterful reinterpretation of the music’s evocative, beatless soundworld via the clever use of clocks and Michael Kamm’s conducting. From rustling paper and shuffling feet, to gorgeous sustained choral tones and vibraphone, ‘Gymnasium/Swarms Live with Orchestra’ is a unique performance of a deeply evocative piece of sound art.

To Set The River On Fire


February 2015

The new EP release To Set The River On Fire opens a window into a new universe of possibilities: Hidden Shoal artists remixing each other’s music. In the first of what we hope will become an ongoing series, English dream-pop artist Chloë March takes on a track from the latest album by German experimentalist Markus Mehr – and vice versa. Listening to ‘Buoy (Chloë March Remix)’ feels like watching Chloë March creep tentatively into Markus Mehr’s shadowy soundworld, casting her radiant voice around the room like torchlight. While on ‘Ember (Markus Mehr Remix)’, the original’s beautifully simple arrangement for voice and piano is trapped within a hall of industrial-sized mirrors, anxiously roving around in search of escape. Each remix complements the other, masterfully re-interpreting the source material while inviting fresh listens to the original.

Binary Rooms


October 2014

Mehr’s work has seen a subtle shift in scale across his five studio albums. From the widescreen cosmic vistas of Lava to some of the more intimate moments of his 42-minute single-track opus Off, Mehr has now come to examine the most challenging space yet – that of our everyday lives and the spatial narratives that surround us. Mehr’s music has always possessed a keen sense of and negotiation with scale, and on Binary Rooms he challenges notions of personal space, juxtaposing the human against the industrial, the gentle and intimate against the jolting and harsh. Mehr acts as a fragment hunter, meshing machine-like tones with the discarded elements of humanity; narrative with anti-narrative. On Binary Rooms he manages to create a spatial remix – a striking re-design of aural reality filled with a living, digital biology. Experimental filmmaker and Markus Mehr collaborator Stefanie Sixt has created a stunning new video work for the track ‘Gymnasium/Swarms’ which can be viewed in full at Vimeo.

Off


January 2013

Off  by German experimental ambient artist Markus Mehr, is the third and final part of a trilogy that includes the critically acclaimed releases In and On. Off  is not only the culmination of Markus Mehr’s trilogy, but it may also be the culmination of his career’s work thus far. The single-track album begins in silence, as a thrumming loop gradually emerges. From there, a beautiful piano refrain is introduced, noise ebbs and flows, threatening to engulf the piece, while field recordings and swooningly transportive synth patterns drift into focus. During its 42-minute runtime, the piece immerses the listener in a dizzyingly beautiful soundworld that’s ever-shifting. Certain passages allude to other sequences and samples in the preceding albums, linking the three albums into a kaleidoscopic mobius strip.

On


July 2012

The new album On by German experimental ambient artist Markus Mehr, forms the second part of a triptych that also includes recent release In and the forthcoming Off. On is a continuation of the experimental direction of Markus Mehr’s previous releases, with eight diverse tracks employing samples, field recordings and slathers of Mehr’s trademark distorted drones. This approach is apparent right from opener ‘Gonna Make You Mine’, as scything slashes of sound leap from the speakers. Single ‘Flaming Youth’ counterbalances fragments of static against a gorgeous sleepy-eyed loop of mangled lounge-jazz. A track as expansive and moving as ‘Duck Became Swan’ is followed by brief rhythmic piece ‘Olympia’. This tightrope walk between dizzying samples and exacting digital manipulation is walked with aplomb throughout On’s adventurous and thrilling 45-minute runtime. On is preceded by In, the first part of the triptych, which comprises two monumental tracks, ‘Komo’ and ‘Ostinato’, each of which clocks in at around 25 minutes, circling around and building upon hypnotic instrumental motifs. The final part of the triptych, Off, released on 24 January 2013, includes the most epic piece yet, ‘Transit’, which clocks in at 49 minutes and will be performed live in collaboration with video artist Stefanie Sixt, who created the video to Mehr’s single ‘Cousteau’.

In


January 2012

Markus Mehr follows up his stunning debut album Lava with three new releases released over a 12 month period. In is the first part of the triptych, comprising two monumental tracks, ‘Komo’ and ‘Ostinato’, each of which clocks in at around 25 minutes, circling around and building upon hypnotic instrumental motifs. ‘Komo’ gradually emerges from silence, its distant, filtered throb reluctantly revealing its source material – a heartbreaking string part whose emotional impact intensifies as the loop clarifies. ‘Ostinato’ is an altogether darker, gnarlier experience, its string loops chewed into distorted knots which are highlighted by treated guitars and crafted electronics. The second part, On, released on 21 June 2012, takes a more experimental direction, with eight diverse tracks employing samples, field recordings and slathers of Mehr’s trademark distorted drones. And finally, Off, released on 24 January 2013, includes the most epic piece yet, ‘Transit’, which clocks in at 49 minutes and will be performed live in collaboration with video artist Stefanie Sixt, who created the video to Mehr’s single ‘Cousteau’.

Lava


August 2010

Lava holds true to its title – it is a dense surge of glue-think sound, making new paths as it pushes through the landscape. But, after any destructive force there is new growth. Green shoots of melody arc out of the surface and populate the terrain as new possibilities emerge. A new master of heartbreaking ambient drone has arrived. These tracks evoke time spent transfixed, gazing through a giant looking glass, waiting wide-eyed as new discoveries are revealed in the album’s textured contours. On epic opener ‘Agenda’, layers of gorgeous synth gradually accumulate into a gloriously massive chord. On single ‘Hubble’, a bedrock of fuzzed drone is decorated with glistening counter-melodies, tracing shards of light across the coal-black skies. ‘Softwar’ builds and then falls away, only to return with a spine-tingling theme that crumbles under its own majesty. Lava’s ability to both suspend the listener in its abstracted liquid vapours and at the same time imprint its affecting narrative is a special thing. It is one of those albums whose emotional impact stays with you long after you feel its last touch.

Biography

Based in Augsburg, south Germany, Markus Mehr’s musical journey began with the guitar. He grew up listening to bands like Black Sabbath and AC/DC, before turning his ears to darker sounds and the ethereal, experimental pop of David Sylvian. After recording and touring with several bands, he struck out on his own with home studio project Aroma.

Now working under his own name, Mehr wrote and recorded his debut album Lava at his home studio using guitars and synths, plus any noise-making accoutrements at hand – electric shavers, ventilators, electric tooth brushes and field recordings –all processed and distorted to create a gorgeous wall of sound, akin to the classic ’70s Kosmische music of Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream, but also the contemporary masters of textured luminosity, Fennesz and Tim Hecker. His follow up albums, In, On and Off  pushed the sonic and structural envelope even further and created a triptych of works that stands amongst the most engaging contemporary experimental music of our days.

Mehr’s extensive live performances across Europe include collaborations with visual artist Stefanie Sixt and performances in churches, galleries and large disused gas tanks amongst the more traditional festival shows.

 

News

  • Eat Your Friends: A Hidden Shoal 10th Anniversary Compilation

    Eat Your FriendsHidden Shoal is excited to end the celebration of its 10th year of existence with the new compilation album Eat Your Friends, comprising remixes and covers of Hidden Shoal artists, by Hidden Shoal artists. This freely downloadable album not only showcases the wealth of original music released through Hidden Shoal, but also the creative ingenuity and deft musical touch of the remixers and cover artists.

    From searing solar-flared adaptations to delicately reconstructed covers, deep space jam reworkings, and shimmering ambient tapestries, Eat Your Friends reimagines the Hidden Shoal discography in new and beautiful ways, playing to all the strengths of the roster’s dizzying array of talent.

    Includes remixes and covers by: Antonymes, Arc Lab, Glanko, Wayne Harriss, Liminal Drifter, Makee, Chloe March, Markus Mehr, Erik Nilsson, REW<<, Slow Dancing Society, Tin Manzano, Willem Gator, and Zealous Chang  of music by: Arc Lab, Brother Earth, Cheekbone, City of Satellites, Medard Fischer, Gilded, Glanko & Daniel Bailey, Kryshe, Memorybell, Erik Nilsson, perth, Slow Dancing Society, Tangled Star, Umpire, and Zealous Chang.

    Eat Your Friends is available now as a free download via Bandcamp and is also streamable via SoundCloud. Listen and then throw yourself into the wormhole as you explore the originals and more work by the remixers and cover artists.  For all the filmmakers, games designers and others in need of engaging music, don’t forget that all tracks in our catalogue are available for licensing (film, tv, games, compilations etc).

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  • Markus Mehr Performing at the Brecht Festival – Video

    Markus 2013On Monday 29th February, Markus Mehr performed as part og a trio alongside vocalist Isabell Münsch and saxophonist Kay Fischer as part of Augsburg’s Brecht Festival, celebrating the work of famous playwright Bertolt Brecht. Their performance addressed the issue of “coming home”, and is based on material that Brecht wrote during his exile in the USA among other works. We’re excited to be able to share an excerpt of this amazing performance. Check out the video below or head over to Stefanie Sixt’s Vimeo.

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  • Antonymes “Delicate Power (In The Hands Of Others)” EP, New Music Video

    Delicate Power (In The Hands of Others) Cover ArtHidden Shoal is proud to announce Delicate Power (In The Hands of Others), a new EP by acclaimed neo-classical ambient artist Antonymes featuring the single ‘Delicate Power’.

    ‘Delicate Power’ is the second single to be taken from Antonymes’ sublime new album (For Now We See) Through A Glass Dimly. The track showcases Antonymes deft musical skills with its restrained rhythms infusing the melodies with a gravitas that is at once warmly human and gravely austere. The single is accompanied by a gorgeous music video filmed by the incredible people at Chasing Light and shot on location at a beautiful, hidden otherworld in mid Wales.

    The hypnotic rhythmic underpinning of ‘Delicate Power’ has invited five magical re-workings on this EP, each with its own subtle majesty. Marconi Union tease the original into a beautifully orchestrated anti-gravity ballad. Markus Mehr’s inimitable skills for re-invention have helped him to create a brooding version that draws heavily on the original’s rhythmic details. Lvmark’s reinterpretation foregrounds the melodic elements of the original, wedded to gently pulsing electronica. Alongside these three guest remixes, there are two reworkings from Antonymes himself: ‘Delicate Power’ (Waltz For Mary Anne)’ transforms the original into a beautiful, late-night swing, and ‘Delicate Power (Jung’s Drug Drum Waltz)’ lives up to the promise of its title with more heft to its woody rhythms.

    Delicate Power (In The Hands of Others) is available now via Antonymes’ Bandcamp and the usual 3rd party online stores. Be sure to check out Antonymes’ sublime new album (For Now We See) Through A Glass Dimly while you’re there.

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  • Hidden Shoal is 10!

    Hidden ShoalHidden Shoal is extremely excited to be celebrating its 10th birthday this month. It’s hard to believe that back in May 2006, Perth-based musicians Cam Merton, Stuart Medley and Malcolm Riddoch began Hidden Shoal Recordings as a means to put out releases by local artists. Tim Clarke, based in Melbourne, joined the team in 2007. Hidden Shoal has since gone on to become a much-loved independent label and publisher, releasing over 120 albums from a diverse range of international artists and licensing music from its catalogue across film, tv, web and compilation.

    Stay tuned for special anniversary announcements in the coming months!

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  • Markus Mehr “Re-Directed” Out Now!

    Re-DirectedWe’re proud to announce the official release of the powerful new work from German experimentalist Markus Mehr.  Re-Directed is a confrontational soundwork of digital surrealism, underpinned by a potent and timely theme: our dependence upon digital technology and communication, and how this dependence renders us vulnerable to exploitation. The project originated as an audiovisual performance with long-time collaborator Stefanie Sixt, for which Markus Mehr recorded hours of sound from servers, hard disks and mobile phones using induction microphones, rendering the inaudible audible and bringing the background noise of digital life into focus. Mehr’s lens is trained on our uncritical reliance upon the invisible systems that infiltrate our everyday lives, silently eating away at our capacity for self-determination.

    “pushing his emotionally-charged sonic sculptures into much more dangerous and unpredictable territory… Totally mesmerizing and beautiful.”Decoder Magazine on Binary Rooms

    Perhaps the most confrontational and abstract release in Mehr’s discography thus far, Re-Directed challenges the narrow confines of music, moving towards the realm of musique concrète. It demands active engagement from the listener, alongside acknowledgement of its conceptual nature. As challenging and complex as it may be, Re-Directed is an incredibly powerful and immersive listening experience for those willing to undertake the journey on Mehr’s terms.

    The album is available now in CD and digital formats. Head to Markus Mehr’s BandCamp to secure yourself a copy of this brilliant release.

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  • Markus Mehr – New Video & Forthcoming Album

    Re-DirectedWe’re proud to announce the forthcoming release of Re-Directed, the sixth album by experimental German artist Markus Mehr. The album will see release via Hidden Shoal on the 29th of April. The first taste of the album is available now thanks to the amazing music video for the track ‘Re-Directed 4’, directed by German experimental video artist Stefanie Sixt.

    “pushing his emotionally-charged sonic sculptures into much more dangerous and unpredictable territory… Totally mesmerizing and beautiful.”Decoder Magazine on Binary Rooms

    Re-Directed is a confrontational soundwork of digital surrealism, underpinned by a potent and timely theme: our dependence upon digital technology and communication, and how this dependence renders us vulnerable to exploitation. The project originated as an audiovisual performance with long-time collaborator Stefanie Sixt, for which Markus Mehr recorded hours of sound from servers, hard disks and mobile phones using induction microphones, rendering the inaudible audible and bringing the background noise of digital life into focus. Mehr’s lens is trained on our uncritical reliance upon the invisible systems that infiltrate our everyday lives, silently eating away at our capacity for self-determination.

    Perhaps the most confrontational and abstract release in Mehr’s discography thus far, Re-Directed challenges the narrow confines of music, moving towards the realm of musique concrète. It demands active engagement from the listener, alongside acknowledgement of its conceptual nature. As challenging and complex as it may be, Re-Directed is an incredibly powerful and immersive listening experience for those willing to undertake the journey on Mehr’s terms.

     

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  • Markus Mehr to Perform at Bertolt Brecht Festival

    Markus MehrWe’re excited to announce that on Monday 29th February, Markus Mehr will be performing live in a trio alongside vocalist Isabell Münsch and saxophonist Kay Fischer as part of Augsburg’s Brecht Festival, which runs from 26th February until Sunday 6th March, celebrating the work of famous playwright Bertolt Brecht. Their performance addresses the issue of “coming home”, and is based on material that Brecht wrote during his exile in the USA among other works.

    Markus is currently putting the finishing touches to his new album Re-Directed, due for release on Hidden Shoal on 30th April, with the first taste of the album appearing in March. In the meantime be sure to check our his brilliant album of 2015 Binary Rooms.

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  • Les Limbes, Markus Mehr and Chloe March in Igloo’s Best of 2015

    Les Limbes EPTwo Hidden Shoal releases have found their way into Igloo Magazine’s Best of 2015 list. Les Limbes self-titled debut EP and the Markus Mehr vs Chloe March EP To Set The River on Fire rest amongst wonderful company and a fabulous write up from one of our favourite music sites. Check it out here.

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  • “Long Range Transmissions” MixTape Edition

    Long Range TransmissionsHere we present the MixTape version of Long Range Transmissions, the first in a new series of themed compilations from Hidden Shoal. The album showcases the ambient and neo-classical side of the catalogue, bringing together beautiful tracks from artists as diverse as Robert Pollard collaborator Todd Tobias, British chamber-pop songwriter Chloe March, and American ambient nostalgist Slow Dancing Society. From the delicate piano of Antonymes, Kryshe, Gilded and Medard Fischer, and the celestial experimentalism of Elisa Luu, Markus Mehr and Cheekbone, to the expansive guitarscapes of My Majestic Star, Erik Nilsson and Sleeping Me, Long Range Transmissions is an essential introduction to just one of the many facets of the Hidden Shoal label and licensing catalogue.

    Long Range Transmissions is also available as a free downloadable album via BandCamp.

    “Long Range Transmissions” – A Hidden Shoal Compilation by Hidden Shoal on Mixcloud

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  • “Long Range Transmissions” – Free Hidden Shoal Compilation

    Long Range TransmissionsWe’re excited to announce the release of Long Range Transmissions, the first in a new series of themed, freely downloadable compilations. Long Range Transmissions showcases the ambient and neo-classical side of the Hidden Shoal catalogue, bringing together beautiful tracks from artists as diverse as Robert Pollard collaborator Todd Tobias, British chamber-pop songwriter Chloe March, and American ambient nostalgist Slow Dancing Society. From the delicate piano of Antonymes, Kryshe, Gilded and Medard Fischer, and the celestial experimentalism of Elisa Luu, Markus Mehr and Cheekbone, to the expansive guitarscapes of My Majestic Star, Erik Nilsson and Sleeping Me, Long Range Transmissions is an essential introduction to just one of the many facets of the Hidden Shoal label and licensing catalogue.

    The albums is freely downloadable via BandCamp and can also be streamed at SoundCloud and MixCloud. The album also features gorgeous artwork by Gabrielle Harcourt, with the Bandcamp download coming with a bundled PDF booklet.

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Reviews

  • “Eat Your Friends” Compilation Reviewed at DOA

    “Over almost a decade, Hidden Shoal records developed a reputation as a consistently innovative and experimental music label, giving to us music of remarkable qualities whether it was the instrumental excursions of Gilded, the blissed-out indie of My Majestic Star, the electronica of Marcus Mehr, the alt.folk stylings of Kramies – the HSR list of significant talents was a lengthy one. I say was, as in 2014 or thereabouts, the Hidden Shoal label underwent a reorganisation of sorts, and it began to seem that one of the more influential Australian record labels of the recent past was itself going into hiding. Perhaps so, although only to return refreshed, renewed, invigorated and with its varying artistic visions intact – the Eat Your Friends compilation proves that the Hidden Shoal label is properly with us again.

    One thing I’ve found when reviewing compilations is that not infrequently, when I put them into my music players, the tracks separate instead of remaining in their album folder, and that has happened with my copy of Eat Your Friends, encouraging me to view each of the tracks as a single release rather than view the album itself as a cohesive whole. Then there’s the fact that only some of its contributors are already known to me and so, ditching some of my preconceptions about what it’s going to sound like, I began listening to the 11 tracks in a random sequence, and prepared for the unexpected.

    Firstly, there’s singer/songwriter Erik Nilsson’s “Moksha Can Wait”, a song which electronic composer Marcus Mehr has taken and adapted to his subtly developed production sound, a track that begins almost inaudibly and builds to a staggering crescendo of soaring, roaring electronic sound and with Nilsson’s guitar and piano providing a counterpoint to Mehr’s swirling atmospherics. The ambient chill of City Of Satellites is given an added gloss by Tim Manzano, although I’m not so sure what he’s actually done with the track – it does sound a lot like the City Of Satellites I know from their Machine Is My Animal album, although as the track progresses and the rhythm and bass begin to disintegrate into a dubby conclusion it seems more apparent where Manzano has left his mark. Arc Lab’s “Through The Burning Glass” is remixed by Glanko, beginning with a club-level bassline before levelling into a noir tinged synth epic. And just when you thought the tracks on Eat Your Friends were entirely instrumentals, Rew perform a cover version of Umpire’s “Green Light District” and they do it with a vocal, alongside the strings and crashing cymbals and haltingly uncertain rhythms, a highlight of an album each of whose tracks is in one or another way remarkable.”

    DOA

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  • Markus Mehr “Re-Directed” Reviewed at Music Won’t Save You

    [Translated via Google. Read the original here.]

    “Four long sections separated by three interludes are the result of the search for Markus Mehr around the theme of digital addiction. Not without a certain taste for paradox, to achieve his sixth album “Re-Directed” the German artist has employed a large catalog of sounds derived from servers, hard drives and mobile phones, capturing pulses, noise and vibrations often on the border of ‘inaudible.

    The currents of static electricity and concrete dissonances prominent captured by Mehr microphones have thus become part of an audiovisual performance created together with Stefanie Sixt, whose alienating sound component is very noisy complexity of the digital age.”

    Music Won’t Save You

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  • Markus Mehr “Re-Directed” Reviewed at A Closer Listen

    “What’s going on inside all those disc drives, cellphones and computers?  We’ve grown accustomed to obvious sounds: the whirr of a burning disc, the start-ups and shut-downs, the overheating hum of internal fans.  But what about all the data stored, trashed and seemingly lost?  Detectives are able to recover data from hard drives, and even the Internet seems to keep a copy, as those who have tried to delete incriminating emails have discovered.  Digital footprints are nearly impervious to destruction, as Markus Mehr demonstrates via sharp amplification.  His induction microphones ferret out the hidden and over-written, exposing – and perhaps indicting – humanity’s newest enduring mark.

    What is the sum of all these Netflix binges, G.P.S. searches and impulsive texts, these memos and photos and hacks?  A big, unsorted tangle of sonic debris, not the Cloud but the precipitation from the Cloud.  And that’s what this release sounds like: the malfunctioning of fax machines, connective failures, and spinning color wheels, but also regret, shame, and a creeping soullessness.  If a nuclear bomb seems to explode in “Re-Directed 2,” the ensuing sound of a Xerox machine destroys all context.  Then a digital swarm descends, followed by a mangled church bell.  It’s beautiful, it’s ugly, it’s all in the ear of the beholder.  Re-Directed is the strangest sort of soundscape, a field recording for the digital generation.  As screens become our dominant visual attraction, mechanized noises – audible and inaudible – become our dominant aural input.

    There are sociopolitical implication to this release, underlined by the video work of Stefanie Sixt.  Might patterns become our new preference, displacing images of flora and fauna?  Is the random hypnotic preferable to the messy unpredictability of human life?  By embedding “real” snippets of music (stuttered piano and occasional beats), Mehr makes “Re-Directed 4” a choice between two worlds, one of which can be obliterated with an electromagnetic pulse.  Yet he undercuts his dire message – perhaps deliberately – by making his music so alluring.  It’s not until the orchestration breaks through the static in the final piece, echoing a Hawai’ian luau, that a sense of awakening develops.  Here at last is the soul we once lost, strangled in the brambles.”

    A Closer Listen

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  • Markus Mehr “Live In Bari” Reviewed at EtherReal

    [Translated from the original French via Google]

    We discover Markus Mehr with this live album, a live transcription of the Off album which concluded the trilogy In / On / Off published between January 2012 and January 2013 through Hidden Shoal Recordings. The concert was recorded in November 2012 as part of the festival Time Zones Bari (Italy) that will have its 30th anniversary this year. In the image of the album, this live is in the form of a single piece of about 45 minutes, a long dive between mechanical loops, drones and arid textures.

    The introduction is rather misleading since the rest of the concert has little to do with these loops generated by a pedal effect samplant agreement and attack the strings of a guitar. An early set particularly arid, disturbing, whose sounds make us think more industrial music as a peaceful atmosphere. But gradually the sound is more diffuse, loops blur, evolving into a mechanical drone. The tempo is just suggested by low residues while some try to escape vocalizations sound magma. Gradually fades the relative hardness and after about ten minutes, after some wavering voice, ambient layers of both muffled and crackling take over, particularly assertive. It then approaches a melancholy ambient glitch clearly recalling the work of Fennesz.

    Over this long piece vocabulary changes quite regularly, avoiding fatigue. To remain consistent, the atmosphere is a certain melancholy sweetness, using initially slicks cinematographic allusions before integrating more twisted sounds and other snaps, allowing the same time to restart the machine that could falter on this transition. We then noticed a phase that suspends tablecloths and drones turn loop at the rate of a cardiac monitor beeps reminiscent. Later, low saturated, announce a return to dry sound, a kind of drone to techno beats until the fateful break.
    The last fifteen minutes like a concentrate of the recipe used previously by the musician. arid melodic tablecloths, minimal and hypnotic ambient stasis while a certain darkness intrudes and come and give you goosebumps.

    Live recording, so applause at the end of a concert set that we will live that through this album but was certainly one of the highlights of this festival.”

    EtherReal

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  • “Long Range Transmissions” Reviewed at Tome To The Weather Machine

    “I am an unabashed Hidden Shoal fan. The Australian label has been pumping out releases of lush, cinematic aspirations of ambient and neo-classical artists for a better part of it’s existence that, at times, is overcome by its eclectic output ranging from conspiracy-punks to 90’s slowcore revivalists to every deriviation of weirdos (Australian and otherwise) in between. Long Distance Transmissions, however, is a surprisingly cohesive collection of sprawling ambient, electro-acoustic, post-classical and just about ever derivation (Australian and otherwise) of lushly produced, slightly melancholic, wordless music in between. Highlights include Markus Mehr’s Tim Hecker-meets-Heinz Riegler meditative distorted synth composition “Hubble, the chopped and glitched electro-acoustic number by Kryshe, the minor key minimalist techno of Cheekbone and the emotional heft of the 80’s nostalgia of Slow Dancing Society’s bubbling arpeggios and soundtrack-worthy dynamics. It makes sense that Hidden Shoal also exists as a licensing company, many of these compositions, if not already, seem to soundtrack some deeply resonant scenes in films (never made).”

    Tome To The Weather Machine

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  • Markus Mehr “In the Palm of Your Hand” Reviewed at Luna Kafe

    “The musical world of Markus Mehr is really a place to go explore. I’ve been amazed and chilled by Mehr’s music on several occasions, with albums such as On (2012), Off (2013), and Binary Rooms (2014). This time around some other artists explore Mehr’s music, or song, as they have remixed his track “In The Palm of your Hand” (from his last album, last year’s Binary Rooms).

    The first (of four) remixes is a ‘version’ by a Hamburg electro-duo called incite/ (a.k.a. Kera Nagel and André Aspelmeier). Their electronic-electric spinning hum-noise through and around Mehr’s piano chords is a tense and slightly, slowly disturbing. Conga Fever‘s (a German project as well) play ‘old-school House and Disco music’, which means Mehr is wrapped in a funky, exotic blanket for the dance-floor. The beatmix is quite cool. Hidden Shoal label mate Erik Nilsson (Sweden) brings more air and quiet to the room, but he also adds a spinning buzz to the piano’s backdrop. Glimpses of an air raid signal blends with a club crowd buzz, and the authenticity of the field recording lifts the ‘jazzy’ trumpet, and/or brings even a more jazzy vibe. Nilsson makes the song radiate. Very, very cool! While you’re at it, check Nilsson’s excellent album of the year, Hearing Things. The final remix is done by David Kochs (based in Augsburg, Germany), who takes “In the Palm of Your Hand” inside, or in and out of his little Techno-house. Quite fascinating, for sure, but summing up these four remixes, I prefer Nilsson’s take on Mehr.

    As the fifth track we get Markus Mehr’s original, so that we can compare the remixes with the ‘real’ track. Mehr rules, of course, but the rest of the boys in here are all doing well. However, like I said: Nilsson is still my favourite. Mehr makes music to drift/dream away to. This is the discreet sound of the ‘candy-colored clown they call the sandman’.”

    Luna Kafe

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  • “Long Range Transmissions” Hidden Shoal Compilation Album

    “Happened across this as we were turning it in for the night, a new name your price downloadable compilation by Australia’s finest purveyors of elegantly drawn dream pop Hidden Shoals. Entitled ‘long range transmissions’ it features a gathering of talents, some familiar – Antonymes, Markus Mehr, Slow Dancing Society et al along with some not so such as gilded and cheekbone. However what attracted us apart from the obvious as ever high quality seductive ambience tonalities literally peeling from the grooves was a delightful little thing from Elisa Luu entitled ‘chromatic sigh’. A breathlessly beautiful slice of porcelain noir classicism, an all too brief heavenly visitation, the slow shift into focus of the sound of a celestial calling emerging into the open to bathe all in the tingling shower of warming radiance, an out of body astral gliding odyssey which for a moment utterly transfixes its delicately balanced and perfectly poised gaze to fix and fill you with ethereal enchantment. And so to something familiar, regular visitors to these pages will be all too aware of our affection for Chloe March who here with ‘old tree, mon coeur’ doesn’t disappoint in the slightest and into the bargain offers up this sweetly mesmerising rustic ghost light, a fairy dust sprayed dream draped lost in the moment beguiling bouquet that shyly treads in the kind of amorphous star twinkled worlds of Musetta albeit as though aided and abetted by a soiree of siren sighs from a chill tripped Laetita and Mary from Stereolab.”

    - The Sunday Experience

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  • “Lost In Transmissions” Compilation Reviewed at Wake The Deaf

    “You might recognise Hidden Shoal from our piece on Olive Skinned, Silver Tongued Sirens Sing Swan Songs, the latest album from REW<<. The label has recently released Long Range Transmissions, the first in a series of themed compilations which showcase the ambient/neo-classical acts in their catalogue. It’s the perfect place to introduce yourself to a diverse and interesting collective of musicians.

    While the collection comes from a particular genre, there is still room for much variation across the thirteen tracks. Antonymes and Kryshe favour fragile, graceful piano, Cheekbone push a sci-fi inspired electronica and Chloe March creates a lush chamber pop. Todd Tobias evokes a mixture of shimmering bliss and nostalgia, his track ‘Nan Madol’ playing like a super-cinematic missing number from the Twin Peaks soundtrack, while Stockholm’s Erik Nilsson’s gently tropical ‘Drawing/Dreaming’ feels like watching the sun set into the sea on the last night of your holiday. Other highlights include the goosebump-inducing melodrama of Slow Dancing Society’s ‘Pull’, Elisa Luu’s ethereal ‘Chromatic Sigh’ and the aching melancholy of closing track ‘Empty Cradles’ by Sleeping Me.”

    Wake The Deaf

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  • Markus Mehr “In The Palm Of Your Hand (The Remix EP)” Reviewed at Igloo Mag

    “Bavarian based sound designer and electronic artist Markus Mehr carries on here his creative and productive collaboration with the now classic label Hidden Shoal Recordings. This time Markus invited a handful of artists to remix his latest recordings collected in the recommended binary rooms. The listener is immersed in a dense, tense, refined and exceptionally moving semi jazzy inflected minimal electronic experience.

    First remix by Incite encompasses the aesthetics of abstract modern glitch-ambient and modern classical music with treated minimal piano touches and kinetic electronic scintillations. Very sculptural, hypnotic and pulsating this track reveals lovely textured sound ambiences in a brilliant elegant mood. While Conga Fever’s remix is a punchy, efficient and groovy cinematic electronic interlude, Erik Nilsson’s remix is a more modern classical / ambient electronic affair where acoustic detached-semi romantic timbres meet systemic and menacing electronic motifs. A well nuanced and evocative track. David Koch’s remix is surfing on the same stylistic path with a very seducing and alluring approach on minimal electronics. A cohesive, dynamic, emotionally vibrant and greatly orchestrated album from start to the end. It will definitely convince fans of Markus Mehr’s original musical syncretism as well as fans of IDM and post-techno ambient manifests. A great musical companion to the excellent Binary Rooms.”

    Igloo Mag

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  • Chloe March vs Markus Mehr Reviewed at Kulturterrorismus

    “It’s nothing new, that label artists remixing each other’s music! “To Set The River On Fire“ is a cooperation of the HIDDEN SHOAL artists CHLOË MARCH and MARKUS MEHR, who produce very different types of music. This EP is between lovely dream pop and dark experimental tunes, that build together a exciting experience for interested ears!”

    - Kulturterrorismus

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Licensing

Markus Mehr’s music is  available for licensing (master & sync cleared) through Hidden Shoal. Please contact us with some basic details about your project and the track(s) you wish to use and we’ll be sure to get back to you straight away.

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