Up, Up, and Astray
Frank Schültge aka F.S. Blumm has released his melodic experiments around the acoustic guitar for over 15 years. In their contemplative reduction, they miraculously always hit right in the heart. Pitchfork said: "The man makes some damn charming music." With Up, Up, and Astray, F.S. Blumm proves that he doesn't opt for routine with his eighth full-length solo release: his unfailing arsenal of acoustic instruments and choice circuits frame the most energetic Blumm sound we have lived to see so far. The album title perfectly describes its energy. F.S. Blumm returns from a six-year hiatus as a solo artist in which he has "rehearsed and learned, multiplied and lost track on purpose." Blumm is many now, and he is absolutely present to us. It all goes on, and always up, and from there into unknown dimensions. He goes astray in the word's finest meaning. And he goes up, up, not as a sweaty "HarderBetterFasterStronger," but with Blumm's steady, heartfelt pling of the acoustic guitar with his tin cookie-box, through which he, in fact, plays back his sounds, in order to re-record them, with his double bass, his keys, and kalimba. Blumm is back from the musical travels of his collaborations. He took the role of a bass player with Quasi Dub Development, a classical guitarist with Old Splendifolia, a songwriter with Bobby And Blumm, a sonic researcher with Nils Frahm and a manic, extrovert dub mash-up DJ as King Hobby. What he has experienced on these musical field trips he now returns to his solo project. Here's the best bit: Blumm sings -- through that very cookie-box -- which sounds like an exquisite vintage amp. Together with his various guest musicians (most notably Ella Blixt aka Bobby Baby on vocals), F.S. Blumm further defines his subtle and unique sonic identity between classical guitar and electronic production. "I wouldn't call my decisions in the studio canny or strategic, they are entirely led by the music. Thereby my sound remains fresh, maybe slightly naïve too, because it unfolds its own life -- ignorant of trends or markets."