Boomkat Product Review:
Following a series of releases that are the Illustrated Encyclopedia entry for esoteric, Ekkehard Ehlers has moved away from his devotional streak to craft an album which strives to find its own place within the musical world. Taking it's starting point as the hiss which emanates from wiring up multiple amplifiers and allowing them to "speak naturally", 'A Life Without Fear' is a Blues-pickled journey down the wires that happily shirks any notion of 'easy listening' for a challenging musical diktat that manages to' be both genuinely odd yet consistently charming. Opening through the gorgeous 'Ain't No Grave', Ehlers cadges a traditional song (i.e., sans copywrite) wherein a bourbon-soaked guitar part lurches around the husky/layered vocals which swan-neck into a fusion of unfocused noise. It's a blinder. From here we're dunked straight into the spiraling drone of 'Frozen Abischt', a compulsively taut cowl of thrumming percussion, mangled melodies and quaggy fissures that seem outwardly austere but (through a bit of perseverance) reveal a welcoming heart - a trick repeated on the almost Fennesz-fog of 'A Second Fire' and bowed guitar of 'Nie Wieder Schnell Sagen'. Elsewhere, 'Strange Things' is the kind of Delta Blues that should come with a health warning, ' Meeresbeschimpfung' is four minutes of acoustic rectitude, whilst the Ralph Stanley penned 'O Death' is a murder-ballad dredged straight from the River Styx. Fearless.