Album Review: Level π - Elektronische Pholosophie (2020)

Picture Credit: Level π
Artwork: Rendel Freude

Level π - Elektronische Philosophie
Release Date: November 27, 2020
Label: Timezone Records
Format: CD / Digital
Length: 65:41
Genre: (Neo-) Krautrock / Berliner Schule
Origin: Cologne, Germany

If you follow the Discoveries of the Week section, the name Level π might ring a bell since the opening track 'Nachtfahrt' of the album on hand has been featured i a post and playlist published on December 23, 2020. Connaisseuses and connaisseurs of the Neo-Kraut and Berliner Schule universe might also already heard of the one-person band by Uwe Cremer. The artist is a musical story-teller whose fifth album "Elektronische Philosophie" we are taking a closer look upon.

"Elektronische Philosophie" is German for "Electronic Philosophy" (pretty obvious, I guess). The album contains six isolated narratives of which we will concern a few later on. Also, a relaxin guitar intermezzo is adding to the laidback atmosphere.

The opening track 'Nachtfahrt' (video above) tells the listeners about a nocturnal ride on the TEE (Trans-Europ-Express), a train that connected European towns between the mid-50s and the late 80s of the 20th century. The title 'Nachtfahrt' means 'Night Ride' and the song colourfully expresses the images you can see when watching the fickering lights pass from inside the train. The moog-powered narrative is full of wanderlust, passion, and maybe even the idea of a peaceful and united Europe. The track ends with the break of dawn and the arrival at a new destination.

Another song, I want to focus on is 'Don Quijotes Gehirn' (video above; 'Don Quixote's Brain'). The track musicks Uwe Cremer's impressions after he watched the film "The Man who killed Don Quixote". It is a very psychedeli piece that consists of different episodes. Like the mind of the Spanish hero, the song moves through different perceptions of reality and dreams. In the end, an you tell what is real and what is a projection of the mind? The song leaves those questions open but adds the beautiful sound of a Spanish guitar instead. Apart from the letter feature, you can discover parallels to the fantastic dreamworlds musicked by Dutch artost Edward Ka-Spel here.

Last but not least, let's listen to the title track (video above). Apparently, the song originates in an experimental session that Cremer has once recorded with his Modular V. The original sequence was almost forgotten until rediscovered by the artist himself. The core piece has then received a whole song that was created around it.

This could go on forever, but I'm wrapping it up here. Level π is telling us fantastic stories of travel, time, space, and much more. "Elektronische Philosophie" does not require lyrics to convey meaningful messages. This album is perfect company for long train rides or for the last glass of red wine under a beautilful sunset. Soothing and exciting music for body and mind.


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