Primus inter Pares – Gerda

After an intriguing preview on the label compilation “Eisiges Licht 2”, Eis Licht now presents the debut cd of Primus Inter Pares. It is mainly through the vocals that you recognize this as a project of Orplid’s driving force Frank Machau.

Musicwise he follows a different approach this time, by letting in many electronic elements and new wave influences. Though multiple layers of sound are combined in the brightly produced tracks, the album still has a minimal feel. This is caused by the clear melodies and repetitive structures. The music is very suited to let you dream away, with long-stretched beautiful sounds and gentle rhythms.

The first two tracks are my favourites. ‘Gerda’, in which a clear guitar wave sound (think of Factory Records) is combined with the grave, distinct spoken vocals of Machau, in an effective composition with a great melody. ‘Ans licht’ is a very moving piece with crisp electronic sounds as well as ethereal, neo-classical elements.

I really like the sound and feel of this album, which Machau dedicated to his daughter. The songs are patient, a bit lazy even, and put me in a not unpleasant state of melancholy. They also have an air of timeless nostalgia, like for instance the spacy ‘(…)’, reminding of krautrock and 70’s electronic pioneers.

Perhaps the second half of this album is a bit less sparkling and some songs are somewhat lenghty. But the first two tracks alone are worth the purchase. Eis & Licht has announced that this album by Primus Inter Pares indicates a shifting focus of the label towards more electronic, organic and melodic sounds. Let’s wait what the future brings, so far it’s a promising development.

artist: Primus inter Pares
label: Eis & Licht
details: cd, 6 tracks, 2005 [Eis047]