Kalle Wallner (RPWL, Blind Ego): guitars, bass, keyboards, programming
Marco Minnemann: drums
Arno Menses (Subsignal): vocals auf “THREE”
Tanyc: vocals auf “Six”
Yogi Lang (RPWL): keyboards, programming
It’s a known scenario. One sits in their own studio in the lockdown between noble guitars and tons of equipment in front of the mixing board and tinkers with ideas, but has the mild impression of gradually going insane, losing it. After twenty years of full throttle, you’re feeling run down, yet the head is still racing in cette pace. Well, it’s a known scenario if your name is Kalle Wallner at least. To drive down his immense output, however, that has never been an option. So the ideas, fragments and motifs piled up and on an indeterminate evening he leaned back and had to accept the fact that he had an instrumental album on his hands. That’s pretty much how “Voices” came about, the now fourth solo album by the busy musician from Freising/Bavaria.
He composed and produced seven tracks, pragmatically just numbered serially. Although one looks in vain for pragmatism here, because the never overloaded opulence is an integral part of Wallner’s music. “Voices” is, of course, first and foremost a guitar album. One shouldn’t expect a mere collection of fretboard acrobatics. Rather, the tracks are in a specific order for a specific reason since they build upon each other, grow from each other and follow a collective narrative, an undertow if you will. Motives, scenes and themes reappear constantly and display the care for detail and the coherence of the overall plot. Last but not least, the graduate guitarist is also a longtime endorser of the noble brand Nik Huber Guitars, an entente already illustrated in the 2017 documentary “Blind Ego – From Idea to Reality”.
Arpeggiated sythnie cascades and condensed riffing provide the backdrop for epic solos of singing quality that Wallner audibly enjoys. However, there is no mindless fiddling here, you hear the work of an experienced composer and multiple themes and motifs run through the tracks like Ariadne’s threads. “Three” represents the only vocal track, Arno Menses of SUBSIGNAL already lent his voice to the last solo album “Liquid” from 2016 and was therefore certainly for “Voices” on top of the call list. Other guests included Carmen Tannich, a.k.a. TANYC (“Six”), who herself made her brilliant eponymous solo debut last year that Wallner co-produced. Yogi Lang’s involvement on keyboards and programming is kind of a no brainer anyway; together with Wallner, he runs not only RPWL, but also Farm Studios and the Gentle Art of Music label. He managed to find a mix in the labyrinth of countless tracks that is coherent, conclusive and logical. But a very special treat is certainly that Kalle Wallner could win Marco Minnemann as the drummer for this ambitious project. This drummer extraordinaire currently residing in San Diego/Califonia has lent his
immense technical skill and his deep pocket to many a name of the highest caliber. Given that his eclectic discography contains plenty of instrumental guitar albums by bonafide gurus of the instrument, he was a dream candidate for this ambitious project.
Voices not words is – apart from “Three” – a core motif of this album, voices become instruments and vice versa. “Seven.Out” closes in just over the eleven-minute mark and concludes this cinematically designed musical cycle in which the individual tracks are always related to and intertwined with each other. The parallel world of language is countered here in tones and fat grooves at the hands and feet of Minnemann. At no point is “Voices” sparsely orchestrated, but the voices in this album communicate with each other and increasingly pile up, unrolling the semantic narrative behind the seven tracks. In the final track, this constant condensation culminates, leaving open the question of whether madness has now triumphed or a new order has been established.
“Voices” meets the highest audiophile standards and is like every production of Wallner demanding listening, mature compositions in which heart and brain are reconsiled, harmonious and complementing to each other. The album illustrates the ‘now state’ of a musician who has been able to acquire the luxurious position of being allowed to be uncompromising. It might even be his duty. Looking at the 26+ years of his discography in retrospect, he has actually always been that and it’s unlikely to ever change. And many a music lover will approve, knowing it is a good thing. At least as good as the headphones should be, on which to listen to it.
“Voices” is scheduled for Feb. 25, 2022, and the first video for the vocal track “Three” is set for mid-January. As always with GAOM, fan love is a top priority, there will be a limited edition in crystal clear vinyl (including download codes) and a lavish CD digipak with a booklet containing a short story accompanying each track from the pen of Dominik Aigner, who as a librettist also aided Wallner in penning the lyrics to “Three”.
|Label||Gentle Art Of Music|