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 Lankow, Brückner & Moon, Monsoon Offerings 4th review

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BruecknerAmbient
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:18 pm    Lankow, Brückner & Moon, Monsoon Offerings 4th review Reply with quoteBack to top

Dear friends and listeners, Volker Lankow, Suzannah Moon and myself are happy to announce the release of our collaboration MONSOON OFFERINGS today!!!! Mr. Green


Image


All visuals we used for the cover, booklet, inlay and CD imprint are taken from various marvellous paintings by Paul Nicholson (see also pictures in the comments below).

Mastering was provided by Markus Reuter.


The album is available from both Volker's and my Bandcamp page.

https://volkerlankow.bandcamp.com/album/moonsoon-offerings

https://michaelbrueckner.bandcamp.com/album/monsoon-offerings


The download contains two bonus tracks (one visible on the page, the other not).


PLEASE NOTE that shipping of physical copies starts in a few days, when our esteemed distributor, Kilian of Syngate, will have returned from his well deserved Easter Holiday vacation… Very Happy

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M I C H A E L B R Ü C K N E R
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Last edited by BruecknerAmbient on Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:07 pm; edited 5 times in total

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BruecknerAmbient
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Age: 49
Joined: 11 May 2011
Posts: 5132
Location: Mainz


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:21 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

Artwork of the CD-r version...

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M I C H A E L B R Ü C K N E R
http://michaelbrueckner.bandcamp.com

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BruecknerAmbient
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Age: 49
Joined: 11 May 2011
Posts: 5132
Location: Mainz


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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 2:05 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

EM reviewer Sylvain Lupari wrote a first review of "Monsoon Offerings" and concluded:

“A bit difficult to tame at some points, this Monsoon Offerings offers a tribal ambient vision of MB whose musical world sounds like Steve Roach's here.”

(…)

"Michael Brückner is a real surprise box full of audacity and creativity. MOONSOON OFFERINGS amply shows it by being an album that will reward the one who decided to face the bull by the horns. (…) Volker Lankow's percussion adds an impressive dimension to the electronic odes of the German musician / synthesist (…) !"


Read the full review (in English or in French) here:

https://synthsequences.blogspot.com/2019/05/michael-bruckner-volker-lankow-monsoon.html?fbclid=IwAR1gLgPC19yUrgu4JKoSCbNqFrDZkXS6fEFhVVvw6SsL3YtgkAeAdB9MmOQ

.

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M I C H A E L B R Ü C K N E R
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BruecknerAmbient
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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 1:31 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

Prog rock reviewer Paul Rijkens wrote a review of Monsoon Offerings for his print magazine I/O Pages. You can find the Dutch original in the current issue, or read my rough English translation here…


https://www.iopages.nl/editie/id/158/io-pages-157

* * *

Review of MONSOON OFFERINGS

Volker Lankow and Michael Brückner are two very different musicians. Lankow is a percussionist who got to know the trade in Africa and the Middle East, Brückner an experienced electronic musician: solo, together with drummer Tommy Betzler (P'Cock, Picture Palace Music, Klaus Schulze), with the groups P'Faun and Bridge To Imla, and now also with fellow countryman Mathias Grassow on the album Polar Vortex (see review on page 27).
Lankow and Brückner have worked together before, among others with Bernhard Woestheinrich (Centrozoom, Bridge To Imla, P'Faun).

Monsoon Offerings is their first joint album. It consists of three long pieces.
The first, 10,000 Mermaids, has mainly oriental percussion parts (tabla) that go against the sequencers of Brückner. I like it.
This oriental atmosphere is also present in Monsoon Offering - The Red Lamb. Suzannah Moon can be heard here with voice and on flute. This music looks a bit like what Mind Over Matter made.
In The Boon (Candraka Vasu) I hear some of the instrumental music from the beginning of David Sylvian's solo career, but also some of Steve Roach's music, especially from his albums from the nineties.

This is not simple music, but if you are open to it, there is a lot to discover.


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BruecknerAmbient
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Age: 49
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Location: Mainz


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:45 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

Reviewer Gunnar Claußen wrote a very interesting, in-depth review of "Monsoon Offerings" by Volker Lankow, Suzannah Moon and myself for German prog rock online magazine "Babyblaue Seiten".

Read Gunnar's original review (in German) here, or my (rough) English translation below…

http://www.babyblaue-seiten.de/album_18170.html#oben

-----------------------

Michael Brückner cooperates once again - this time with Volker Lankow, who is mainly active as a percussionist and has only appeared on these pages as a guest on the album "one january evening" by the Bridge To Imla project, which Brückner is also involved in.
So now there's a record by these two gentlemen called "Monsoon Offerings", however on the cover the project name "Lankow & Brückner" is extended by the subtitle "feat. Suzannah Moon". This Australian lady sings and plays the flute, but only in the quasi-title track and longest piece of this album, "Monsoon Offering / The Red Lamb (Revisited)", whereas Lankow and Brückner are among themselves in the other two numbers (probably also in the digital bonus track "Playa Imaginaria" which I don't have).


Interestingly enough, the three pieces of the (physical) release of "Monsoon Offerings" have both similarities as well as clear differences.
The opening "10.000 Mermaids" should be representative for the stylistic direction of this album. Lankow operates all kinds of percussion devices by hand, which by the way does not only include the mere rhythm, but with the help of short xylophone fragments actually melodical contributions - apart from the fact that his set of instruments covers both high and low sounds, plus unpitched rustling and rattling.
Brückner, on the other hand, keeps himself in the background at first, only in the course of time adding buzzing ambient sounds, and finally (around 8:30), in addition to the percussion, there is a sequence that becomes more and more modulated and distorted, to which the intensity of the percussion in turn increases, to a lively, at times even downright aggressive effect (after a kind of balance of threatening ambient and a more relaxed percussion groove had established itself for a while).


Even though "10.000 Mermaids" follows a build-up formular typically for such electronica - that after certain turns and developments a level of certain intensity is maintained for some time, there are still transformations. For example, the sequence decays further and further under its transformations, but as a constant element, ostinati fall off like chips.
The ending with xylophone set to ambient and natural sounds (crickets and birds chirping) turns out to be comparatively long, as it takes about the last 3-4 minutes.

Compared to this, the concluding "The Boon (Candraka Vasu)" turns out to be much more bulky and sparse. After an intro with a (later modulated) lecture about the Phytagorean theory of the connection between sound and numerology, there are sawing and buzzing sounds, percussion and melodies on the xylophone, but rather soon, this piece stands almost still. Intensification and transformation only happens within the narrow frame of sometimes sharper, sometimes softer sounds, sometimes stompier, sometimes looser rhythms - "10.000 Mermaids" definitely offers much more variety.


"Monsoon Offering / The Red Lamb (Revisited)", on the other hand, is a bit different due to Suzannah Moon's participation. The beginning does hardly use any electronics, because African drumming, flute motives and first wordless, later articulated and partly even polyphonic singing dominate. This reminds a bit of the wider Oldfield cosmos (of course of Mike's "Incantations Part Two", but also of his sister Sally's New Age work) and is also rather static, even though the percussion is partly sprinting in between.
But at 7:00 there's a change to massively swelling soundscapes, joined by flute and synthesizer, until finally a slow percussion pattern lends rhythm and soon the vocals return to a steadily intensifying sonic background. After the climax has been passed around 16:00, the flute then solos Popol-Vuh-like to floating ambient sounds, before vocals and percussion again pave the way back to electronics (around 24:00). In the finale vocals and percussion finally surrender to these electronics, until finally the voice enters into a kind of dialogue with the harsh synthesizer notes.


So, what Lankow, Brückner and also Moon created here is over long distances actually relatively well thought out and varied or at least, let's say, "in motion" in the sense that the music is constantly subject to slow changes.
As already mentioned, this is true for "The Boon (Candraka Vasu)" to a much lesser degree than for the other two pieces, but even here "Monsoon Offerings" still draws on its second strength. This strength lies in the already described contrast between partly really expansive ambient soundscapes and electronics on the one hand and the lively percussion on the other; that way, heaviness and lightness collide virtually all along...
And that's also true for "The Boon", even if not much else happens in this piece.

In any case "Monsoon Offerings" is an interesting combination of electronics and world music influences.


10 (of 15) points (one potential point less because of "The Boon")

-------------------------

P.S. Actually, the album has not only one, but two bonus tracks (and Gunnar probably had given us the point he subtrackted for "The Boon" back if he had heard them… Laughing )

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BruecknerAmbient
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Age: 49
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Location: Mainz


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:06 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

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Reviewer and musician Carsten Agthe wrote some nice words for ECLIPSED (print) magazine about "Monsoon Offerings".

Read the original review (in German) here, or my (rough) English translation below:

* * *

Electronic / Ambient / World Music

LANKOW & BRÜCKNER
"Monsoon Offerings"


Bewertung: sieben (von zehn) Sternen
Artverwandt: Tangerine Dream, Red Buddah, Mathias Grassow

Manchmal ist es von Vorteil, einen befreundeten Musiker die eigenen Archive auf interessantes unveröffentlichtes Material durchforsten und Gefundenes dann auch gleich noch von ihm bearbeiten zu lassen. So passiert mit Volker Lankow, Schlagzeuger und Percussionist aus Berlin, der sich des Fundus des umtriebigen Elektronikers Michael Brückner annahm, auf dass er dem Schicksal des ewigen Vergessens entrissen werde.

Dank seines hypnotischen Percussion- und Schlagzeugspiels, das er den entdeckten Soundfragmenten hinzufügte, entstanden meditative Erlebniszentren außerhlb von Reiki- und Tantra-Schönklang.

"10.000 Mermaids" gleitet wie von allein ins eigene Nirvana, "Monsoon Offerings / The Red Lamb" - mit knapp 35 Minuten längster Track des Albums, welches in der digitalen Version mit zwei Bonustracks kommt - gerät mit Flöte und der australischen Musikerin Suzannah Moon am Mikro zu einem feinen rituellen Spacejam, und "The Boon" zum transzendenten Epilog.

Gemastert wurde das ganze übrigens von Markus Reuter.

Top-Track: 10.000 Mermaids

(Carsten Agthe, Eclipsed Rock Magazine)


* * *


Electronic / Ambient / World Music

LANKOW & BRÜCKNER
"Monsoon Offerings"


Rating: seven (of ten) stars
Similar to: Tangerine Dream, Red Buddah, Mathias Grassow

Sometimes it is advantageous to have a musician friend search one's own archives for interesting unpublished material and then have him edit what he finds.
This is what happened when Volker Lankow, drummer and percussionist from Berlin, took care of the vaults of prolific electronic musician Michael Brückner so that their content would be saved from the fate of eternal oblivion.

Thanks to his hypnotic percussion and drum performance, which he added to the fragments he discovered, meditative centres of experience beyond sweet Reiki and Tantra sound evolved.

"10.000 Mermaids" glides effortlessly into its own Nirvana, "Monsoon Offerings / The Red Lamb" - with almost 35 minutes the longest track on the album, which comes in the digital version with two bonus tracks - featuring flute and Australian musician Suzannah Moon on the mic, turns into a fine ritual space jam, and "The Boon" into a transcendent epilogue.

The whole thing, by the way, was mastered by Markus Reuter.

Top track: 10,000 Mermaids

(Carsten Agthe, for Eclipsed Rock Magazine)


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