Visions Of A Landscape


2nd release on this Vinyl-On-Demand subsidiary label. Deluxe gatefold 2LP with two inserts. "Let's just call it: rock. Not post-rock. Nothing that's somehow ironically twisted or distorted by overthinking. Ira tie into a time when rock used to be serious and connected to deep existential feelings. It's simply a matter of dignity. This band intends to overwhelm. Their long and epic tracks force the listener to lose himself, to get carried along, torn between the fear of losing control and the pleasant feeling of losing ground. But Ira aren´t virtuous posers. They don't imitate the pompous rock spectacle of the early seventies. Their use of effects and emotions is precisely calculated, their wall of sound never coagulates in pathos. The songs are distinguished by atmospheric density instead of fingerboard acrobatics. The great thing about their songs is that they are not overloaded; instead the arrangements leave space for unlimited associations. Ira succeed in uniting the Mogwai-esque floating post-rock-sound with classic rock songs. But it's not the straight-forward, demanding kind of rock anymore that makes you clench your fist -- these epic and blazing tracks are riddled with melancholy, doubt, fragility. And yet, in their songs dealing with lack of communication and unconsciousness (isolation and helplessness), you can also find references to some great moments of rock history. Who doesn't suddenly recall Pink Floyd's The Wall -- probably the all-time most popular album listened to in puberty -- when listening to the lyrics 'Is there anyone left laughing? Is there anyone left?' ('Empire in your bag')? No, this tradition is neither embarrassing nor behind the times. Far from it: Ira express the anxiety in us all and they consciously pile it on, so that it sticks. In 2007 the band earned a huge applause from the audience in a film-theater, after they performed a kind of live-soundtrack for the film Powaqqatsi by Godfrey Reggio. Since then it was certain that the epic music of Ira is not just great cinema. It almost calls for a visualization. Therefore Ira are currently working out a live-concept involving the experimental avant garde films by Walther Ruttmann. The roots of the band from Konstanz, formed in 2003, can be found in hardcore and punk. Their debut-album The Body And The Soil (2005) was released on the Go Kart-label from New York. On Visions Of A Landscape Ira finally found their own unique style and got rid of their hardcore-background. With the helping hands of producer Tobias Levin (Tocotronic, Jeans Team etc.) and Chris von Rautenkrantz (Blumfeld), two main protagonists of the German music scene, the band got their unique voluminous sound. In a very intense collaboration with Tobias Levin, Toby Hoffmann found his specific particular vocal-style -- passionate, disturbing but not exalted. As a musician, the award-winning writer, spoken-word-artist and poetry slammer is also capable of combining complex lyrics with an adequate sound: at the gateway of dream and reality, poetry and anger Hoffmann succeeds in connecting the big rock-gesture with the laconical disillusionment of post-punk. Black Sabbath meets Ian Curtis -- worlds implode."