128

Lars Dietrich: Stand Alone

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Genuine solo albums are hard to come by. For far too many musicians, a solo album is simply one where none of the collaborators get their names on the front cover. The real thing can have many benefits for the soloist—no other musicians to pay, no awkward clashes of egos, no breaking up over musical differences. But the buck very definitely does stop with the guy whose name is on the cover. On Stand Alone, the buck stops with Dutch musician Lars Dietrich.

Dietrich is the alto saxophonist with The Story; a young, well-received quintet based in New York that also features Texan tenorist Samir Zarif and British pianist John Escreet. Outside of that musically tight, inventive, but acoustic band, Dietrich launches himself full-tilt into a world of electronica, mixing techno, dance, jazz and occasional rock and classical influences. The music triggers memories of Tangerine Dream, Tonto's Expanding Head Band, Kraftwerk and others, as Dietrich creates a musical mélange that never fails to intrigue, intermittently frustrates, and sometimes sounds like music for dancing.

The frustration comes from the occasional over-working of limited ideas, on "Champloo" for example, but most of the time Dietrich is more imaginative, with "Monokleam," the slow-tempo and reflective title track, and "Exitship"—a sort of Celtic/trance crossover—at the melodic end of the spectrum. Things get a tad wackier with the polyrhythms of "Lars vs Sral," the oddly plaintive "Byeworld" and the relaxed yet mysterious "Metalage," while the slow and sinewy groove of "Clustarrr" offers an ideal opportunity for some dance floor action.

Dietrich plays everything on Stand Alone—although it's not clear what everything is, and neither the album sleeve nor the press release give too much away. There's plenty of electronics and keyboards, the occasional saxophone, vocal samples and more. The warm static crackle of vinyl underpins some of the tunes. It's a comforting sound that balances out some of the more discomforting ones, and acts as a reminder of the pioneers of electronica who form the foundation for Stand Alone.

Track Listing: Lost; Monokleam; Redshift; Acebirt; Exitship; Stand Alone; Madretsma; Lars v. Sral; Champloo; Metalace; Clustarrr; Pragma; Headvoice; Byeworld.

Personnel: Lars Dietrich: all instruments.

Title: Stand Alone | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Tetrawind" CD/LP/Track Review Tetrawind
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 24, 2017
Read "Skyjack" CD/LP/Track Review Skyjack
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 24, 2016
Read "Lingo" CD/LP/Track Review Lingo
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "Horizonte" CD/LP/Track Review Horizonte
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Astoria Roots Live" CD/LP/Track Review Astoria Roots Live
by James Nadal
Published: May 17, 2017
Read "Journey To The Mountain Of Forever" CD/LP/Track Review Journey To The Mountain Of Forever
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 17, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.