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 Krystian Schek - Eisblumen - PS 08/101
  Release Date: 13 October 2003
  Limitation: 1000

   2012                          2.34
   Eisblumen                     6.39
   Tannenwald                    5.32
   Abendrot                      4.55
   November                      7.54
   Wake up with the Rain         6.51
   The Girl from Uzbekistan      6.42
   Nuclear Island                5.40
   Night vs. Day                 5.56
   Hermitage                     4.25
   snowGUM                       6.16

  all tracks written by Krystian Shek

2012 - a short ambient track that enters us into the 4th dimension, on december 22nd 2012 i presume?

Eisblumen - an established hypnotic beat coils around echoing space loops. the track seems a little too rushed, it does add a nice minimal "psychedelic" trance beat (145bpm). there are some short beatless interludes, but this is more for the dancefloor.

Tannenwald - not your average minimal psychedelic techno. at times i am reminded of oliver lieb (-2:30) with the overlay of ambient and solid 4/4 techno.

Abendrot - a simple beat with chilled ambience and quirky synth samples.

November - a deeper bass beat and an addictive melody. this track is more minimal sounding. very danceable. around -4:45 a simple ambient synth layer is born and the beat stops. the beat does return shortly after however.

Wake up with the Rain - some solid 4/4 techno and trance, which sounds darker than pervious tracks. the music is groovy and hypnotic. "trippy" upbeat dancefloor material.

The Girl from Uzbekistan - birds, water, and techno loop. the birds and water sounds fade away and we are left with dark, minimal techno.

Nuclear Island - post nuclear island. some clicky body moving techno with the distant howl of the vast wasteland.

Night vs Day - more dark minimal techno that has that familiar fax sound.

Herimitage - a marching sonic robotic loop fused with repetitveness. not as upbeat as previously, yet still danceable. the track is flourished with melodic experimental samples. the birds return to create the heavens and end in drone.

snowGUM - probably the most accessable and "commercial" track. upbeat groovey trance which is fitting for the crowded dancefloor. you can get lost in the simple yet friendly groove.

(review by jackthetab)

Krystian Shek's Eisblumen is a diary, expressing the emotions of a traveler while on a journey from Moscow to Saint Petersburg. Knowing that, you'll find the album offering so much more than just music. Soon you'll find yourself searching after the deeper meaning of every single track.

If you ever travel to Russia, one of things that will strike you is the beauty of nature -- women in particular -- and on the other hand the coldness of the same nature -- again, women in particular. This duality is the main theme of the album, emphasized by the title, literally meaning "Flowers Of Ice" and is omnipresent in the tracks.

I love the way it's done, never too obvious, always subtle, mostly by putting two opposites together: rotating machinery and a tinkling triangle, a drone and a bird, progressive techno and filmic drama. My favorites are "Heremitage" - putting the majestic structured ultra repetitive bureaucratic industrial theme of the city against a blossoming fairytale of environmental ambient -- and best of all, the touching sweet sadness in "The Girl From Uzbekistan."

Eisblumen is a frozen flower that will never fade.

(review by Jean-Marc Dekesel)

Eisblumen. Didn't give it much thought until today. According to my personal rating system it scored well above average on the first 2 listens when I got it. I realized today I hadn't listened to it since, so I gave it a spin and am on the 3rd listen now. There is a lot more here than I had first thought, and it's rapidly becoming one of my faves from that FAX-year.

It's strange, because this style of music is usually not my cup of tea, but lately it has been growing on me. If I had to pigeonhole it, I'd probably try to call it tech house, like something from Burnt Friedman or Thomas Brinkmann. But it's also got elements of drone, Detroit techno, dub, and probably more. (I've never been good at genre pigeonholing.) Strange, but in many ways I'm reminded of Rhythm & Sound with the incessant drones and reverb. There's also hints of Move D in the mix, especially in Abendrot with its muted flourish-melody.

More interesting is the extremely close resemblance of some of the sounds, effects and styles with Benisch's Waiting for Snow. In particular November (with its horn melody), Wake Up (the rhythm), Uzbekistan (almost everything), and Nuclear (with its odd percussion and reversed samples). I would wager Shek has studied some of Benisch's technique.

Very FAXy, very mysterious, very mellow & subdued, but also very dancey. For most tracks, the only thing you get in the high frequencies is the percussion and occasional bleep flourishes. The effect against the backdrop of the lowpass rhythm, melodies & drone is quite intriguing.

For me, all tracks are good with the exceptions of the weaker 2012, Night and Herimitage. Those tracks aren't weak in the "press skip" sense; they just pale in comparison to the rest which are so strong. As interludes or lead-ins they serve their purpose well. Between the remaining tracks I'd have a hard time picking a favorite. Well worth a listen (or three).

(review by Trevor Cordes)

I have been listening to Eisblumen a couple of times since I got it, and I must say that it's the first fax release in a long time that sounds like it was made to fit to a more modern techno sound; I was a bit scared when the first track started ... too ambient . but the rest is ok.

Some strong minimal techno beats that I can really see being played in clubs, even November with the cheesy synth line fits in.

It's very force-inc-ish in some way, I was playing my iPod on shuffle, and when one of the eisblumen track played, I picked it up expecting to be a tracks from a Force-Inc release.

Best tracks : November, Eisblumen, snowGUM.

(review by Maximilien Lincourt)


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