After this album BABEL is going into hibernation for a while. If it ever wakes up, we'll let you know.
"This is the final BABEL album. At least for a while. I'm putting the project into hibernation as I did in 2006 until I resurrected it in 2009 for the 'RILE' album. When I started making music as BABEL again, I had a very specific idea of what kind of music I wanted it to be. Something at the nexus of Einsturzende Neubauten and Peter Gabriel's soundtrack for The Last Temptation of Christ. Over the last 7 years I've tried to get there from a number of angles and this album, 'Sofandi', is where I finally achieve the sound in my head (or as near enough as to satisfy my intentions). It collects the clanging industrial guitar of 'Heurter' and 'Zwerm', the lone endless reverb piano notes of 'Morpheum', the guitar drones of 'Maze' and 'Cosmos Bleu', the tinkling chimes of 'Glockengeister', the plaintive reeds and abstract percussion of the 'Sacred Fire' albums and the kosmische synths of more recent works. Every idea I've had converges here, so what is left to say? Time to put the project to sleep and watch the fire die."
"The album contains two immersive 20-minute tracks, “Deyjandi eldur 1 and 2”. The translation: “dying fire”. The music does sound like a dying fire, although first it rages like Dylan Thomas, with rising drones, throat singing and saxophone. From time to time, gorgeous chimes sound, adding a meditative aspect to the long goodbye. One can imagine this piece being played at the artist’s “final concert” in Toronto earlier this month, throwing it all in the fire, allowing the conflagration to rise, perhaps poking at the embers to prolong the experience until all light has died. The music is elegant and mature; Rehlinger is now an experienced storyteller, and he knows not to rush, stretching the music as far as it will go, reflecting the last two syllables of his name.
The cover hints at heaven and hell, the name of the project suggesting the tower that rose toward the heavens, only to be cast down. Yet here everything is in balance: the colors, the shapes, the sounds. According to legend, all of earth’s languages were once one; in Sofandi, Rehlinger practices a sonic version of Tikkun Olam, looking back on his own life and collecting the shards. Finally all is woven together, past and present, electronic and acoustic, memory and hope. The clearer (albeit wordless) singing at the beginning of “2”, decorated by bells, suggests a clearer voice, a clearer path. Is this really all there is to say? If so, this is a fine note (or series of notes) to end on.
As the final chords fade, we protest: come back! But dormant is not dead. Perhaps, in our hour of need, we’ll hear such music again. For now we have echoes and elegies and a lump in the throat. "
~ A Closer Listen
Shimmering drones and angular melody lines dance and collapse against hazy ambiance and fractured glass surfaces; ecstatic meditations give way to deep noir melancholy and fiery avant expressionism. Arachnidiscs
"...a real feeling of exploration .... Some are busy with bells. Some are barely there...a very soft, spiritual atmosphere that should be your next soundtrack for falling asleep into lucid dreaming." Arachnidiscs