A story of spirit and perseverance as delivered by performer who moves mountains with his eyes.
It’s been almost two decades since German film composer Jan Weber debuted as a rock force, driving this project from strength to strength, but the distance between “Flügel” and “Poems” saw both good and bad things happen in the artist’s life. While score to a Dean Reed doc “Der rote Elvis” elevated his profile, a 12-year stillness which followed the fittingly titled “Silent Green” from 2009 didn’t bode well, yet that album paved the road to here and now. Diagnosed with ALS in 2015 and unable to move anymore, Weber soldiered on, writing and laying down tracks on his laptop via an eye-tracking device, and what emerged as the result of Jan and his accomplice Nadine Stelzer’s efforts is a captivating look at a person’s place in an order of the Universe.
Their new story’s scene is set with bleak balladry of “Gloomy Sunday” where progressive uplift is clouded by mystical stanzas that Nadine’s gossamer voice paints over the exquisitely pulsing soundscape whose expanse gets drenched in insistent groove but stays alluringly monochrome nevertheless, until the ebbing ambience of electronica-tinctured “Shadows Of The Past” unfurls a colorful landscape before the listener. However, if “Moving Sky” seems a tad abstract in its glacial flow, the percussive surface of “Pleasure And Pain” has a perfect dynamic poise to it to carry spectral vocals, and the clanging “All They Left Behind” open doors into outer space for the highly memorable danse macabre to reign supreme.
Once there, though, a couple of cuts flutter in front of one’s mind’s eye without fully registering, only “The End Of Illusions” will majestically restore the balance of day and night with celestial sounds of organ, and the epic finale “Thorns And Lilies” offer a trance-like trip towards eternity. Which must be the best place for extinct species, and Jan Weber feels it too deeply – much deeper than everyone who moves for his spirit knows no limit, and he can claim victory over adversity.