Angst Is Not a Weltanschauung!

by: B. Fleischmann

B. Fleischmann's work tends towards the gentler side of an already gentle enough label, Morr Music -- as part of the continual staking out of a post-techno/IDM space for singer/songwriters that would have been called lo-fi in another life, though he's definitely part of a strong trend that still hasn't received its full due. On the nine-song Angst Is Not a Weltanschauung!, Fleischmann's understated arrangements and performances touch on many other styles and templates -- hints of C-86 via the Field Mice and shoegaze are especially strong, notably on the swooning "24:12" with its central bassline -- but possibly one of his best qualities is simply how he uses his guest singers, especially Sweet William Van Ghost. His voice, a low-pitched, slightly quavering but not weak instrument that he uses excellently, creates a definite Lee Hazlewood feeling which duets with Marilies Jagsch like "In Trains" further emphasize. Fleischmann's own singing on two songs is fair enough in comparison, but perhaps the most intriguing choice of performer is Daniel Johnston, who reworks his "King Kong" into a new number, "Phones, Machines and King Kong," his immediately recognizable voice sounding all the more fragile and beautiful against Fleischmann's chopped-up drone keyboards and shuffling beats. Also, for all the album's low-key impact, it's quite theatrical as well, almost melodramatic -- but where a band like the Arcade Fire pumps up that quality to almost absurd degrees, say, here there's always a sense of careful control, as on songs like the instrumental "Last Time We Met at a T&TT Concert," whose skittering beats and mournful swell of accordion drive the arrangement forward to a sudden drop out of sound, suspending everything almost in mid-air. ~ Ned Raggett

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.