templegarden's . culture vs. nature . cd . act 76
this project was founded in 1993 as a colaboration of the former cult-project ars moriendi by p. münch (synapscape) and a. schramm (asche). the aim of tg's is a very dense, ritual-ambient one. in 1995 a. börner (morgenstern) joined this project. they made several interesting live-performances all over germany. actually templegarden's is organized as a loose collective with several friends, so the sound-variety has become enormous, but always in the mystic ritual sector. old fairytales, nature, magic places and the unexplainable are their main inspirations. most of the sounds are a result of sampled ethno-loops, a convertion from natural analog datas to digital. so the technical aspect of this project becomes a symbol for the dialectical relationship between nature and (industrial) culture, which can be experienced in those special templegarden's atmosphere: the impression of ritual-emotional maturalness, which we're all seeking for, is satisfied by the result of a technical cultural act, deleted
1a mangrovia. 1b shipwreck
2a three gates opened. 2b middangearde. 2c trance
4 galadriel's mirror
6 when time ends
templegarden's appearance: p.münch, a. börner, a. schramm, l. hunt, a.glöckner.
recorded from 1993-97.
special cardboard packaging.
spectrum, issue 3
opening the card like packaging (complete with wax seal) the esoteric element of the disc is felt even prior to the index finger hitting the start button. reading some the titles such as "trance", "transition" & "tranmission" further establishes this aura. given that the cd runs over 70 minutes with only 6 tracks the equation equals long drawn out tracks. rather than dissect each individually i think that one overall description will suffice and still so this justice. being at the mercy of the sound textures, murky drones rise to the surface of the underground lake only to find echoing darkness radiating to the edges of the vast cavern. occasionally more earthly elements of distant vocals, gongs, flute and natural sounds are heard but still seem all to foreign within the compositions. shimmering electronic drones and slightly urgent electronic loops become more spacious heading into less claustrophobic territories, where some of the drones take on an almost angelic choir like spiritual quality
(however you can alway be assured of a more sinister texture lurking behind to be revealed soon enough). textured minimal rhythms (more than specifically beats) round out segments in a semi tribalised guise, whilst others have drones which paint mental pictures of the exotic far-east. the music is credited to having been recorded over a 4 year period from 1993-1997 and having input from no less than 6 individuals - some being notables of other ant-zen acts. part ambient, part tribal and part spiritual equals another worthy release.
lange hat es gedauert, sehr lange hat es gedauert, bis nach den zwei split-tapes und der single des ehemaligen ars moriendi-kollektives, diese cd erschienen ist und an der letzten verzögerung bin ich auch ein wenig selber mit schuld - knirsch! templegarden's ist im gegensatz zu den anderen eher rhythmischeren oder noisigeren projekten der ex-ars moriendi-leute absolut ruhig, atmosphärisch, fließend und ambient gehalten. vor unserem geistigen auge erwachen beim hören alte landschaften, mythen und überlieferungen zu neuem leben, so das ich dieses magische album gar nicht lange zerreden möchte. nur soviel: die aufnahmen entstanden im zeitraum von 1993 bis 1997, sind sehr looplastig und die spielzeit umfaßt 70 minuten. die cd ist ansprechend in einem passenden kartonumschlag mit siegel verpackt und wer mehr über templegarden's lesen möchte, hat im black
13 gelegenheit dazu, da mein geschätzter redaktionskollege arne tau dort ein ausführliches interview geführt hat! aber jetzt bitte augen schließen und listen to enjoy. (m.f.)
culture vs nature is the first cd release by templegarden's as far as i am aware. the band represents the ongoing legacy of german legends ars moriendi. while the notes with the release are minimal due to the nature of the packaging - a card envelope (with flecks through suggesting that it is home-made) with the art on one side and a wax seal, embossed with the letter "t" on the other - it is clear that three of the six people involved in the music here were members of ars moriendi. as far as i can determine at the center of this project is anders schramm, whos main project is asche. following in the next batch of releases from ant-zen is the solo-project of andrea borner called morgenstern. finally is philip munch who has released two cds on ant-zen as part of the duo synapscape with a third due before this year's end. as for the other three members of templegarden's, i can say nothing. culture vs nature is composed of 6 tracks, though a couple have parts to them, which runs to 70 minutes long. opening with mangrovia (1a) a bubbling watery piece. this becomes increasingly windy and the rate of bubbling is increased. as this track progresses it is a construction of deep bass sighs - slow and atmospheric; reminding of the first track on asche's non-apocalypse album. the track has quite a bit of growth in it - forming several movements. though i am unclear where the division between mangrovia (1a) and shipwreck (1b) - i think i detect a change at 7 minutes, then again at 8 and 9... just under 13 minutes in total this piece has enough changes to keep interest at a pace which seems natural. the second track has three parts - 2a three gates opened, 2b middangearde, 2c trance. starting with a high, sustained drone, a hint of horn and a buried percussive element. those percussive elements are one of my prime interests in this group of artists - reminding of ars moriendi and asche. bass drones swell in triumph with the percussion, a slow clatter of construction. or perhaps it was in fact a sluggish train, pace changing as it clears the hilltop? compared to the wetness of the first piece this is warmer, with a certain cavernous hollow. towards the ten minute mark we have a gently spoken female voice, offering a nice touch of humanity. which i would take to be the turning point from three gates open to middangearde. sounds shifting from bass to ethereal. drifting in a slightly unsettling way, masking the faded vocal flows. a further shift around the 16 minute mark suggests to me to be the start of the third segment trance. less swirly and more tonal in sound - fluctuations in the bass sound forming the core. periodic plinks offer hints of drips and a punctuation to the darkness. gradually this becomes more threatening, the bass vibrating in your speakers along with the return of the buried beats. increasingly emergent those beats and a second, male, voice change the tracks feel again- suggestion of ritual. finally fading out at 28 minutes this must be the epic of culture vs nature. the third track is transition - percussive strokes underpinning the morose note of a lone flute. deep bass moves in, but the high pitched, piped note continues. an eastern ritual on a misty, mountain morning is suggested. past eight minutes a gentle chant and chiming bells enhance that suggestion. to me galadriel's mirror is a reference to tolkien, as i suspect is middangearde. with that we perhaps have a suggestion of some underlying theme. galadriel's mirror is constructed of deep chimes and metallic shimmers. deep reflective pools of sound which enter the mind to affect easy thought. in terms of segments within the engaging whole that is culture vs nature this is one of the parts that i enjoy the most. transmission is full of dark echoes - of ominous clatters, and a cold, dark night. built on mutated repetition this is the darkest part of this cd. beats driven by the slavery to the sweat of ceremony. from there culture vs nature is concluded with when time ends. the shortest piece of the drama - a two minute moment. this is an album which is full of atmospheric monuments and desolated journeys. the type of sounds that i increasingly love to immerse myself in.
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