Stroom / Belgium / 2022
"Emerging from Lower Franconia's hidden reverse, Johannes schebler, known as ambient-poltergeist "Baldruin" and surreal folklorists Christian Schoppik & Katie Rich of "Brannten Schnüre"-fame have puzzled and amazed outernational audiences from the stranger end of the avant/lo-fi spectrum in recent years. The trio is now collectively dreaming as "Freundliche Kreisel", reaching for terra incognita rather than common ground on their most bewildering and accessible outing to date. Arch-pontifices of the electro-acoustic and outsider-art realm, they fill in gaps and invent missing links on the go with somnambulistic ease, confusing the hypersensitive and hyaline timbres of contempo-electronic aesthetics with the naïve charm of Germany's obscure Kassettentäter and mutant-NDW.
Think Daniele Mana and Lorenzo Senni digitally rewiring the 4-track recordings of Gareth Williams' Flaming Tunes or sometimes, much scarier, it feels as if it's the other way round. There certainly is an air of whimsical yet post-ironic romanticism to the songs contained here, a madcap, tongue-in-cheek ghost story as filtered through the transcendental senses of a childhood perspective. This attitude is best personified in the disarming innocence of Katie's vocals whose intonation touches on nursery rhymes as much as on dirges and bizarre 'schlager' kitsch.
Heirs to the tradition of magic realism, examining fragments of an arcane sacred mundanity like a crack in the concrete of everyday life, Freundliche Kreisel dwell on this often neglected microcosmic topography, yielding an adventurous and visionary piece of a decidedly Franconian next-level post-modern folklore."