Review ·

Although sometimes criticized for homogenizing the lap-pop sound, Berlin's Morr Music imprint has unquestionably poured the utmost sincerity into every record it's released. From the packaging to the production to the music itself, the label's records are united in a collective air of honesty. The label's first release, a vinyl version of Bernhard Fleischmann's 1999 debut, Pop Loops for Breakfast, set the precedent for the aesthetic the label would follow. From that release, B. Fleischmann has continued to produce heartening, if not always forward-thinking, pop music that helped define the label. The Humbucking Coil, is a slightly more guitar-focused effort that teems with warmth and comfort without breaking new ground.

 

Without being overtly original, the eight songs on The Humbucking Coil succeed by going where the textures are the warmest and the melodies feel the best. At first, tracks such as "Broken Monitors" feel like standard post-rock faire, with the instruments slowly building to an uplifting climax. But subtle nuances such as synths cascading in each headphone and crackly production on the beats liven the songs so that their familiarities are welcomed and their emotional peaks convincing.

 

The addition of Christof Kurzman's vocals on "Gain" and "From To" are also welcomed factors. Offering brief variations from the instrumental formula of the rest of the work, his sedated German accent complements the fuzzy loops and achieves greater depth in sound.

 

In a musical climate where it feels like every new idea has been played out, artists such as B. Fleischmann are creating impacting records. By focusing on subtleties of production instead of trying and failing to reinvent something that's been done, The Humbucking Coil is a Sunday-nap headphone-record that successfully conveys emotion. B. Fleischmann again proves that it's okay to use a familiar melody if it's done with humility.

 

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Morr Music Web site

B.Fleischmann Web site

  • Broken Monitors
  • Gain
  • Composure
  • First Times
  • Phones and Machines
  • Static Grate
  • From to
  • Aldebaran Waltz
Various Artists - Soul Sides Volume One Juvenile Reality Check

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