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The Blackout Quintet


"There are 8 new titles on Stefan Schwander's latest album The Blackout Quintet, all composed by the techno dandy himself. This is Schwander's fourth album under the alias Antonelli. The music on The Blackout Quintet is best described not just as haunting but as positively ghostly. It is set in the hours of transition between day and night, in that shadowy no man's land from dusk to darkness or darkness to dawn. This emphasis on time and time passing is reflected not just in the music but in the titles of the tracks themselves: after the night, the morning, the quiet night, gespenster (ghosts). And to project day and night metaphor onto the techno or club context, the music could be said to belong somewhere between dancefloor and after-hours, or even to that private zone after after-hours when the party is over and you're floating gently back to reality. Antonelli's dreamy melodies create feelings of abandon and paranoia at the same time. In two pieces ('Topaz,' 'The Wave'), the intensity of the music is generated by a symphonic, feedback-like wall of sound, which builds up in layer upon insistent layer. Other tracks on The Blackout Quintet (e.g. 'After the Night') recall the music of Angelo Badalamenti, the film composer beloved of David Lynch (Twin Peaks, Mulholland Drive) who is also celebrated for his pop music (including songs for the Pet Shop Boys). More than anything in fact, The Blackout Quintet does beg to be described as film music, despite there being no film to go with it, nothing to give the music a concrete visual structure and nothing to subordinate it to or put it on a level with images and events. Indeed, The Blackout Quintet is intentionally self-sufficient, and as a result achieves that freedom and breadth which enables music to put its listeners into a state of semi-delirium, allowing them, if they are lucky enough, to catch a glimpse of a ghost or two."