As electronic musician Lorenz Brunner sketched his vision for the first Recondite full-length on Ghostly in five years he took a step back to assess who and where he was as an artist. 2013’s Hinterland accelerated a progression — he’s since been touring around the world and releasing music with labels such as Hotflush and his own Plangent Records — yet, for him, the album cast a shadow of pressure that widened over time. As with most art forms, perhaps especially music, there is an expectation to change, to creatively pivot elsewhere with each project. After careful consideration, Brunner rejects this notion with his new work, opting alternately to use the icy Hinterland as an aesthetic and tonal template for a like-minded map of evocative compositions aptly titled after the German word “stillstand,” now presented as Dwell.
Windswept, moody, and melodic, moments on Dwell linger with emotional resonance. The title track sends an eerie synth loop through a field of techno kicks. The beats recede for a breather four minutes in as if to survey the surroundings. If Brunner pivots anywhere — possibly just a new perspective afforded by being confidently stationary in his craft — it’s by leaning more into hip-hop structures. He’s an avid rap fan and his love for those production techniques is notably present on Nobilia, a queasy shuffler (titled in reference to the Super Nintendo game Secret of Evermore), Interlude 1, which skitters in lockstep with contemplative synth chords, and Surface, an isolatory, ruminative sequence. The closer Moon Pearl soothes and shimmers like its namesake, a cherished gem in The Legend of Zelda series that allows carriers of the gem to retain their shape and essence in the Dark World.