Boomkat Product Review:
Night blue instrumental post rock, jazz and electronica from old Berlin faves Dictaphone, recapturing the isolated vibes of their City Centre Offices releases on a 1st slab for Denovali - their first in five years, landing ahead of promised reissues of Dictaphone’s early EP and LP
“Finally a sign of life and a new full length of the German cult trio after five years of silence. Already formed in the late nineties in Berlin, Dictaphone was born by Brussels-bred multi-instrumentalist Oliver Doerell. In 2000 Oliver Doerell found a partner in Berlin’s Roger Döring, who shares Doerell’s love for the Brussels-based music of the eighties.
In the following years the duo and several guest musicians (e.g. Stephan Wöhrmann (SWOD), Malka Spigel (Minimal Compact) & more) released the critically highly acclaimed “m.= addiction” (2002), the “Nacht” EP (2004) and “Vertigo II” (2006) via the City Centres Offices label. In 2009 the violin player Alex Stolze joined the band. During their two decades of existence Dictaphone played shows in more than 20 countries with festival appearances at Mutek, Transmediale, Unsound, Benicassim & more. Their latest release “Poems from a rooftop” from 2012 came as a very limited edition through the Berlin-based boutique label Sonic Pieces. The new album “APR 70” is the first Denovali release of Dictaphone. The label will also reissue the past repertoire of the trio.
The new album features the three Dictaphone core members Oliver Doerell (electronics, bass, guitar), Roger Döring (saxophone, clarinet) and Alex Stolze (violins) and has been composed and produced over the course of three years. While the vibraphone and the more easily distinguishable guitar among other things gave a certain presence to the tracks on the previous album “Poems from a rooftop”, “APR 70” leaves the listener with a much more muffled impression. It feels as if each of the uncountable layers of which the intricate arrangements are made has just the right amount of contrast to be visible, but there are only very few moments where one of the elements noticeably dominates the others. The cool jazz bits, analogue flourishes, hypnotic rhythms and refined electronics feed a dark serpent-like creature meandering in ever-changing morphologies through shapeless landscapes. “APR 70" is the perfect cocoon for the hazy days and the serene nights. A new incarnation, maybe even definition, of purity.
Dictaphone never make music for the sake of it, they always want to create something which was missing before. And they did.”