“The present reviewer felt more than ambivalent about In, the first installment of the Markus Mehr trilogy that now comes to a close. It was the juxtaposition of soft dreams and brutal reality, swaying, romantic strings and congenial, diverting piano bullied by guitar distortion that puzzled me. It just didn’t seem to jell. The second chapter, On, posited the same ambient-noise dichotomy and I remained bemused. In all fairness, mine was a minority opinion, as waves of reviewers praised both albums to the skies.
Does it all come together in the final chapter? Off is a single, forty-two minute epic in which Mehr begins his sortie with an impeccably woven ambient tapestry, braiding threads from the two previous releases into an utterly transportive synthesizer line shrouded with static cling, a textural counterpoint to its dreamy, Mediterranean blue weightlessness.
Exactly half way through, however, a nascent piano solo is quickly overcome by a fever dream of chanting monks, electronic dolphin squeaks and things slipping out of hands. For a while, jump-cut samples and even the previously denied piano grapple. That sweet synthesizer never lets go, but Mehr has turned the first half of Off inside-out for the second half. Is he too restless to just linger? I remain torn, this time almost exactly in half.”