Boomkat Product Review:
The eagerly awaited follow-up to Bohren & Der Club of Gore's wonderful 2008 LP Dolores doesn't disappoint, the German outfit refining and expanding their visionary blend of midnight jazz and dark ambience across 35 sumptuous minutes. The EP’s title (Beleid - meaning "condolence"), not to mention the illustration of a rainy funeral on its cover, clearly signpost the kind of bleak terrain we're headed for, but Bohren are as adept at ever at finding romance and a sort of redemption in the heart of the abyss. Musically, the key reference point remains Angelo Badalamenti's scores for David Lynch; a combination of plaintive sax, ominous synth drones and electronic piano situated at the interzone between dream and nightmare. ‘Zombies Never Die (Blues)’ - the first of the three long, immersive pieces that make up the EP- is apt for midnight revelation at the Roadhouse or Club Silencio; but as well as Badalamenti we think also of Tom Waits at his most unhinged and atmospheric, and of The Caretaker's sweeping, serotonin-depleted excavations of memory. ‘Catch My Heart', an unrecognisable cover of German metal outfit Warlock, evokes the decadence and submerged anxiety of 30s Weimar cabaret; vocals come from the band’s longtime cheerleader Mike Patton, channelling Tuxedomoon, Bowie and even the Brinkmann of When Horses Die into a louche but tortured croon. The title track brings the suite to a close, unbearable tension wrought out of a sparse, repeated Rhodes motif and brushed drums, recalling early Tortoise, For Carnation and the desert-dried doom of Earth. For all these comparisons, Bohren really are like no one else around, and Beileid is the kind of otherworldly, out of body listening experience we live for. ESSENTIAL PURCHASE!