Bensnburner raves in abstract concoctions on Schatulle, accelerating and exhilarating your mind with an aural space trek of an EP.
Release date: May 29, 2020 | Independent | Facebook | Bandcamp | Official website
Everyone whose hobbies, let alone livelihood, depends on textual creativity knows that a writer’s block is a terrible pain in the ass. It’s like having a sharp-cornered and agonizingly weighty block of concrete in your… well, ass. It’s simply unpleasant altogether. I went through that ordeal in the past few months, and getting over such an oppressing thing feels like a personal victory, yielding some refreshing results. I just had to discover something to carry me through that murky humdrum state of mind, and today’s band did just that for me.
Bensnburner is the solo endeavor of the German-based bassist and producer Ben Krahl, who has been exploring his patent vision with and without other musical and visual collaborators since 2012. The latest installment bears the name Schatulle, and is a 22-minute EP constituting of six tracks, sonically exploring a vibrant sci-fi narrative you can dip into over at the project’s pages. Wildly vibrant in nature, this atmospherically spacey, but rhythmically firm journey draws from experimental and psychedelic post-rock/metal, ambient, jazz, doom, space rock, and sludge bringing something for everyone to the table.
While the genre tags and trends are plenty, the overall arc of Schatulle is highly coherent. Whether dwelling in bleaker waters or vigorously pacing in uplifting moods, everything here blends together rather effortlessly. The main weight is on a more positive note throughout, which alone gives the EP a lively and zesty punch that comes across rarely, especially when taking the heavier approach into account. In reference to earlier, this factor undoubtedly contributed into pushing my petrified brain cells into motion again, and I’m sure it’ll do exactly the same for you, in case you find yourself in equally tedious condition.
The conveniently titled opening track “EKG” starts with an echoing passage matted with distant synths, and swiftly proceeds into a bundle of somewhat folky stoner melodies and rhythms, swaying from one side to another in a sturdy manner. This pulse carries on, taking its sweet time to fully unfold and introducing different elements into its figure on crucial moments, thus avoiding repetition regardless of its unisonous frame. The dulcet atmosphere stays afloat through the second track “What’s the Meaning of Guff” as well, which expands the opener’s sonorous pace, albeit residing on habitually similar territory.
The third track “Tutu” shifts to a different gear, built on an advancing polyrhythm and talkative melodies. Even though the EP is mostly instrumental, the melodies especially have a particularly vocal presence on all songs, giving them an organic colour, granted that the impeccable production underlines that very fact at all times. “Away from Home” comes in with a melancholic twist, proceeding to mentioned singing melodies backed up with some actual, longing vocals. The closing track “Visible” rejoices in same setting, but having the two separated by an abrasive sludge pause, “Scum”, gives both their own value.
So as mentioned in the beginning Bensnburner have crafted quite a vivacious, complex, and energetic release with Schatulle. The EP is fluent on its own spatial area, and wholly an empowering experience solely because of its favourable and snell tone. Even during the more wistful moments, there’s still comfort to its languor, tying everything together to one cohesive journey. Whether it’s unprecedented or not is a discussion for another day, and rather irrelevant when taking the emotional punch it packs into account. With Schatulle, Bensnburner is capable of eloquently making you happy, and sometimes that’s really all you need.