Markus Mehr “Brief Conversations” Reviewed at Igloo Mag

“The acoustic properties and sonic signatures of physical spaces have always been essential to music, from how theaters and halls were designed to Alvin Lucier’s iconic representation of re-amplified acoustic modes, “I Am Sitting In a Room.” Markus Mehr’s latest full-length album, Brief Conversations, uses sound to activate spaces, and then uses electronics to further re-contextualize the recordings of those spaces. The artist’s dialogue between sound objects and their environment yields a full-length experimental work that blends acousmatic, electronic, and field recording principles. At various moments, it evokes comparisons to Ian Wellman, Richard Chartier, and Martin Stig Anderson, but Mehr’s sonic palette creates its own wake through the seas of acoustic sound manipulation. It’s work of richly harmonic and distressed beauty. Brief Conversations primarily succeeds in two areas: First, creating evolving and ear-grabbing ambiences, and second, not overlooking the small details. On paper, or in other hands, Brief Conversations could be a hard soundscape with sudden and jarring shifts in sonic perspective. Mehr’s approach is instead to make evocative, emotive pieces that are slow burners rather than frenetic experimental freakouts. The album as a whole sits right on the border of unsettling and calming. The pieces are meditative, immersive, and certainly intense, but the structure and hard cuts aren’t jarring jump scares or disorienting shifts in thought. Each piece evolves with a solid narrative arc; many are palindromes, ending much like they began, but the journey is the destination here. The acousmatic properties of the recontextualized sounds have a delicious mystery to them; some are easily recognizable, others utterly unknowable. While electronic drones and acoustic hits drive most of...

Markus Mehr “Brief Conversations” Reviewed at ambientblog

“Don’t expect spoken ‘conversations’ on this album: these tracks are reflections of the ‘conversations’ German experimental artist Markus Mehr had exploring different rooms. “Rooms communicate with us, we can listen to them”. For the inexperienced listener, some of the sounds within a room may be hidden away in the rest of the environmental sounds, while others may be more prominent. Mehr magnifies each of the specific room sounds and creates a richly detailed soundscape with it – which may be quite a lot less ‘ambient’ and ‘environmental’ than you may expect. This is not meant to record the natural ambience of the room: it is meant to amplify otherwise unheard sounds. “The material and arrangement of the walls and their volume determine their resonances and the nature of their reverberation. Thus each room has its own articulation, its own acoustic fingerprint.” This may not be an easy listening session – but if you open up to it you’ll experience a rewarding granular kind of musique concrête. Brief Conversations is released on cassette (including a bonus track not in the digital release, ánd a download code for the digital version). The digital version is a double joy: it also includes binaural versions of the original tracks. The album is exquisitely mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi.” – ambientblog Related Items:Markus Mehr - Mount DevilMarkus Mehr - United States of SoundMarkus Mehr - XesNew Markus Mehr Track and Video - 'Mount Devil'Markus Mehr's Sublime New Album "Brief Conversations" Out...

Markus Mehr “Liquid Empires” Reviewed at A Closer Listen

“Markus Mehr may be fascinated by the aural properties of water, but Liquid Empires is no nature album; neither is it placid. The tape surprises from the start: “Kissing” launches with a head-nodding pulse that leads into a senses-scattering drone, then recedes and advances ~ like a kiss, a wave, a shower. Liquid recordings are embedded throughout ~ rivers, lakes, seas ~ but they don’t sound like this in person. Mehr has taken the sounds back to his laboratory and tortured – sorry, teased them out. His work has in turn inspired video artist Stefanie Sixt, who amplifies his work through visual images, shooting from above and below liquid surfaces then digitally altering the results, as seen below in the video for lead single “Rank.” Those pulses are simply a reminder that water creates its own rhythms, most apparent in ocean waves but evident in the flow of streams and the arc of storms. The sudden splatterings of “Bleed” may catch listeners off guard, but so do rogue waves and thunderclaps. There’s a whole world of music available in water, ultimately untamable, an angle Mehr captures better than most. Veteran swimmers know “never to turn their back on the ocean,” while those familiar with lightning know that it can strike when all seems clear. As such, there is comfort here, embedded in the ebb and flow of undulating sines; just don’t relax. As “Bleed” becomes suffused with dark bass and crisp field recordings, the clouds darken overhead. By “Clouds For Sale,” percussion has turned the sonic field into a minefield, sounding more like TriAngle than Hidden Shoal. The opening...

Markus Mehr “Dyschronia” Reviewed at Rockerilla

In his search for digital reality, which has already been the subject of the former ” Re-Directed ” (2016), Markus Mehr has collected a long series of sound fragments, natural noises and machine disinformation in the last five years.

Reprocessed, synthetically filtered and coupled to electro-acoustic sequences, it is not alien to harmonic passages, that material has become the basis of the seven tracks of “Dyschronia”, in which the German artist projects his environmental research into an unbroken deconstruction work and reassembling the sound. Ambitious and not always easy to operate, but fully respectful of the concept of a multiform digital representation.

Markus Mehr “Dyschronia” Reviewed at A Closer Listen

“Dyschronia is an album eerily aligned with its time, as it addresses technology, surveillance, wiretapping and the disconnected plight of the modern era, while exuding an aesthetic appeal. Today’s industrial societies are approaching total technological immersion. Our words are recoverable even after they have been wiped from hard drives. Phone conversations are prone to becoming public record. Servers are subpoenaed. Burner phones are used by the guilty and the innocent alike. The words of Luke 12:3 seem prescient: “What you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.” The final track contains a dialogue that begins and ends with the question, why didn’t you burn the tapes? Older listeners may remember Watergate. Younger listeners may think of Donald Trump’s warning to James B. Comey, tweeted earlier today: “You better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations.” In defense of his decision, a defendant protests, There was never a thought that one word of those tapes would be played in public. Dyschronia means “a lack of comprehension of concepts of time.” By unmooring samples from time and blasting them with electronic waves, Markus Mehr underlines the concept, presenting a world in which all things happen at once, sans guidepost. He captures not only the sense of digital surfeit, but of digital edit and re-edit. The world gives us sound, but we prefer sound bytes. Mehr turns the idea on its head, intercepting fragments of beauty from the ether: organs and orchestras, engines and choirs. In “Dyschronia 2”, a hardhat blast stutters like a machine that won’t start or an industrial track that won’t begin, demonstrating...