Review: Dying Machines - Nicht Sprechen

The emotional aspect of ambient and mood music.
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dying machinesNicht Sprechen, the debut release from Dying Machines, is a lovely and expansive EP that acknowledges the emotional aspect of ambient and mood music.

Dying Machines is Thomas Buschbach, a New Orleans-based multi-instrumentalist. His early artistic interests took him down some conventional and not-so-conventional paths, with piano and guitar training eventually giving way to classical training. With these elements in tow, Dying Machines’ EP seems to reflect every ounce of Buschbach’s development as an artist thus far.

Some musicians take up bits of knowledge along the way and drop them off as their path expands, but Nicht Sprechen makes great use out classical, guitar and piano conceptions by melting them in one pot.

Dying Machines’ work takes on a minimalist bent, sure, but it only uses that as a foundation on which to blossom flowers of delicate keys and gentle sound. The latter largely emanates from string parts, which in turn arose from Buschbach’s neo-classical instincts. Citing everyone from Hans Zimmer to Stars of the Lid, he plots his course with no less than the collation of influences, skills and visions.

It is hard to imagine so much stuffed into the music of Nicht Sprechen, a slowly progressing work that draws out over five pieces. But much like Kyle Bobby Dunn’s brilliant Bring Me the Head of Kyle Bobby Dunn exceeds the confines of many albums by tossing track numbers in favour of cogent tones, Dying Machines’ release functions best as a whole.

Using chamber strings, pianos and effects-laden guitars, Buschbach’s work is every bit the encapsulation of sonic breakers. The serene effect is but one characteristic of this sort of music, as its formulation of reflective ground leads to something decidedly more profound. Nicht Sprechen is beyond “sounding pretty,” in other words.

Commencing with “This, And Other Times,” the record spools its grid of aural bliss with entrancing worth. Pulses of sound slip in, giving way to pieces like the ivory-echoing “Await You” and the closing piano of “Some Mistakes Are Bigger Than Others.” The ultimate emotion seems to suggest that Nicht Sprechen has come full circle.

A compelling release of tones and light, Dying Machines’ Nicht Sprechen is a beautifully contemplative and outstandingly patient piece work. In this era of flash and dash, Buschbach has thankfully created moments worth savouring.