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ARTIST
TITLE
True Life/In Flames
FORMAT
LP

LABEL
CATALOG #
DIAL 024LP DIAL 024LP
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
2/28/2012

Gatefold LP version. After his self-titled debut of 2009, True Life/In Flames is the second album by Berlin-based Christian Naujoks. Recorded by Tobias Levin at the Laiszhalle Philharmony Hamburg. A dense concert atmosphere sets the tone. Stringent seriality is combined with a romanticism of the minor key which one also finds in a certain corner of modern 20th-century piano music, in the vein of Michael Nyman, Wim Mertens, Arvo Pärt, John Cage and György Kurtág. Deep contemplation and solemn expression paired with intellectual clarity. Each note has weight, and every sound a purpose. Unlike Naujoks' debut, True Life/In Flames completely relinquishes the use of any sort of electronically-generated sound. Instead, there is a consistent stylization of what one might call "organic sound." The figure of the bedroom producer is relieved here by that of the composer and pianist. There's a piano, played by Naujoks; there's the marimba of Martin Krause and then Naujoks' voice. This album could be designated as a suite with various movements, bracketed by the conspicuous reprise of its most song-like piece, "Moments I" and "Moments II," as well as by the economy of the unchanging instrumentation and the black and white cover photograph by Dirk Stewen that references the recording location: the Laeiszhalle of the Hamburg Philharmonic. Piano and marimba stand there on an almost cave-like stage, surrounded by music stands, microphones and stacked Egon Eiermann SE 68 SU chairs -- a company of genuine instruments. Again, Christian Naujoks embraces the world of contemporary music-loving connaisseurs. True Life/In Flames is a gift for all those hunting the unique, the deep, the outstanding. All's quiet at the beginning, as it is at the end.