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Moritz Stahl: Traumsequenz

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Moritz Stahl: Traumsequenz
Swabian-born saxophonist Moritz Stahl's direct and purposeful debut, Traumsequenz is certainly, as translated, a dream sequence, but its seventeen intimate miniatures could also serve as long-lost themes to long-lost noir TV shows about down-and-out detectives on the case of any moral lassitude.

But the true intent of Stahl and his equally goal-oriented bandmates—pianist Julius Windisch, guitarist Philipp Schiepek, bassist Lorenz Heigenhuber, and drummer Leif Berger—is to willfully include the listener as an active participant in the creative process. It is up to each listener to conjure the plots and pratfalls, the magic, mishap, dialogue, and love scenes of the aforementioned long lost TV shows. That many of the titles are listed as Episodes, makes for a great escape from the usual inconvenient realities we might otherwise binge. Or scroll. Or swipe left.

From a hard, spectral drop of bass and drums, Stahl and company introduce themselves via "Introduction" and Traumsequenz sets the pace. Down dark alleys Windiisch and Schiepek volley, chased by a presence blurry at the edges, morphing into view. But only for a bantering moment; Stahl's sharply hewn horn takes the lead on "Procrastination Episode"; that is until the piece breaks down into fragmentary discussions, each voice drifting in, out, over, under. Gaining momentum, the five reunite for a fiery replay of the wiry opening theme.

Piano, horn, and guitar direct the brief meditation "Episode 1," a cascade of themes and notions. Opening as a sunny, European seaside duet of Heigenhuber's woody tones and Schiepek's nylon melodics, "Salzwiesen" reveals itself as anything but a day at the beach. Stahl, Windiisch and drummer Berger come in riled, like cubicle mates on their lunch break, and seem to wrestle the music between them. An exciting blend of free and constrained aesthetics, "The Ominous" unravels darkly. Like many a dream, "Traumsequenz III Deiwner" falls in on itself even as valiant guitar sonics and Stahl's full calls attempt to hold the course. Intricacies abound on "Traumsequenz IV Iridescent Cyan." Articulate interplay defines "Oliviers Pensive" and "Look" and brings into focus the full promise of Traumsequenz.

Track Listing

Introducing; Procrastination Episode; Episode 1; Salzwiesen; Traumsequenz I Lenticular Labyrinth; Episode 2 ;The Ominous; Traumsequenz II Glassharp Callada; Traumsequenz III Deiwner; Traumsequenz IV Iridescent Cyan; Episode 3; Oliviers Pensive;
Episode 4; Traumsequenz V Lux Cache; Episode 5; Lonk; Aiglatson

Personnel

Additional Instrumentation

Moritz Stahl: tenor- and soprano saxophone; Philipp Schiepek: nylon string & electric guitar; Julius Windisch: piano; Lorenz Heigenhuber: upright bass; Leif Berger: drums

Album information

Title: Traumsequenz | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Unit Records


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