Genre/Influences: Experimental, industrial, minimal-electronics.
Format: Digital, Vinyl.
Background/Info: Ant-Zen owner Stefan Alt strikes back with his second full length in 2 years. After the exciting “Invisible” (2018) he unleashed eight new tracks at the end of 2019 . The album is a rather conceptual work where Stefan Alt pays ‘homage to life in the present moment’, which means that every single moment is unique.
Content: Salt moves on there where “Invisible” stopped. It’s a new sonic exploration and a kind of sonic window from the different music styles Ant-Zen are dealing with for years now. The tracks are definitely experimental, but each composition is accentuated by a different style or influence. It can be a mix of d’n’b and glitch, but the next track moves into dubby rhythms with noise arrangements. I also noticed industrial elements merged with minimal-electro while the last track sounds more into ritual fields. There also is a cover version from a John Carpenter theme (cf. “Assault On Precinct 13”), which has been meticulously transposed into a pure vintage electronic experiment. The tracks are instrumental edits however animated by some spoken samplings. The only exception is the opening track featuring guest vocals by Geneviéve Pasquier and Tamiko Kawaguchi. Other guest contributors are Gerwin Eisenhauer who played some drums on 2 cuts and A. Lawrence playing ukulele on “We Never Sleep”.
+ + + : This album is a new versatile exposure from the artist’s sonic brain. It covers an impressive range of influences and even if it sometimes feels like listening to a compilation, it has something exciting because of its versatile character. But Stefan Alt also shows a sophisticated approach in the writing. I’m definitely addicted to his minimal-electronic work like the great “Assault On Precinct 13”, but I also have to mention “Yakushi-Do (Part 1)” and “We Never Sleep”. Another noticeable cut is “Yakushi-Do (Part 2)” for its noisy apotheosis.
– – – : This work is more experimental and achieved with noise arrangements than its predecessor, so in the end I’m missing the IDM passages from “Invisible”.
Conclusion: Who better than Stefan Alt himself could enlighten the world what Ant-Zen stands for? Just listen to the work of Salt and you’ll get the answer.
Best songs: “Assault On Precinct 13”, “Yakushi-Do (Part 1)”, “Ueno”, “We Never Sleep”.