All titles composed, performed and arranged by Bernd Kistenmacher from March to October 2009 at the Ivory Tower studio, Berlin, Germany
- The Beginning [5:01]
- In Face of Saturn [12:14]
- Colliding stars [17:27]
- Eternal lights [10:21]
- Living between Asteroids [19:35]
- A Celestial Move [3:22]
It is the International Astronomical Year and also the year, in which Bernd Kistenmacher will release his 21st solo-album "Celestial Movements". Inspired by the gigantic and as well phantastic Horizon-Observatory at landscape-park Hoheward, Ruhrgebiet/Germany, the 49 years old native Berliner wrote a soundtrack for the stars, that is incomparable. A first foretaste was offered to Bernd Kistenmacher's fans already end of October 2009 at the cult-club "La Boule Noire" in Paris/France, where he presented his new album to public. The one's who had expected to be sprinkled with long ago battered sound patterns, has for sure been comfortably disappointed. Bernd Kistenmacher takes his inspiration from the unexpected and surprises his audience with ever new bridgings between the different soundscapes. His music offers many aspects: once meditative, once classic, once entertaining or bombastic, but sometimes also silent and melancholic. But it is one thing by all means: wonderfully dreamlike. We are sure: the one who enjoyed the exact 68 minutes of this masterpiece will return to the beginning very quickly, because "Celestial Movements" is Bernd Kistenmacher's so far best solo-album. And that needs to be reheard not only once.
2009. Press Information
After what seems like a long break we get his new album, this time inspired by the impressive Horizon-Observatory at landscape-park in Ruhrgebiet, Germany.
We start with the appropriately titled ‘The Beginning’. Very deep bass rumbles sound like the aftermath of an explosion heard from many light-years away. A slow bright melodic lead soars through space. Absolutely gorgeous stuff.
We seamlessly transcend to ‘In Face of Saturn’ on the back of a heartbeat pulse. Ominous sounds surround it, creating quite an edgy atmosphere. The backing becomes increasingly intense as the heartbeat disappears. Things become calmer in the second minute. A chugging rhythm strikes up and one fantastic euphoric lead line after another comes to join it. The heartbeat returns to finish. Ecstasy through music.
‘Colliding Stars’ initially sounds as if waves are gently breaking on the shore to the backing of massed strings. It’s beautiful but so melancholy at the same time. A slow lead cries out over the sound of strangely distorted birdsong. The mood changes in the sixth minute as a brighter melody enters. A slow tinkling sequence over mellotron choir continues the uplifting mood though there is still a hint of sadness.
A bell rings out as ‘Eternal Lights’ gets underway. Gentle melodies waft through the air then massed wordless choral pads swell over a tranquil piano lead. The whole thing has a rather spiritual feel.
‘Living Between Asteroids’ starts with a great monster Organ sound. This disappears and in complete contrast we get a pounding piano riff. Drums drive things forward as further uplifting melodies are brought into play. This is happy good-natured stuff, designed to let yourself go and put a smile on the face.
Things calm down for ‘A Celestial Move’. Though the piano is still the main instrument this is beautiful sedate stuff. The melody is simply stunning, ideal for gentle reflection.
Many think this is the best Bernd Kistenmacher album so far.
Sadly, we age. And with these years which pass by, are losing beautiful souvenirs of an audacious and tousled music which cradled our dreams and emotions. Head-Visions was the first opus of Bernd Kistenmacher to fill my ears. A wild album where rhythms and sequences seemed indomitable to me. Then was Viaggio Attraverso L' Italia, beautiful journey towards one Berlin School where the musical poetry of Kistenmacher was finely chiseled on soft and hypnotic rhythms. Nothing to compare with the wild Totally Versmold! Since, and with BK pleasant collaboration, I was able to hear the majority of its works being so capable of following his musical evolution. What a career forgotten and snob by the journalistic world! A waste which, I hope should be repaired with Celestial Movements.
Almost 8 years passed since A Viaggio Attraverso L' Italia. And there is the German synthesist who’s making a comeback in the EM spheres. As us, Bernd Kistenmacher aged and Celestial Movements is the irrefutable proof. The German musician is more serene, but always so poetic, nostalgic and ingenious. He presents 6 celestial movements which wear marvelously the naming of its 16th opus. Movements which transcend the limits of EM’s Berlin School style, to fit a surprising musicality axed on melancholy, with an infinite tenderness and a sound ingenuity which distance him in this fauna of artistic profusion where his Vangelis influences stand out pretty much of Klaus Schulze’s ones, with a harmoniousity of which only the greats are capable of.
The Beginning opens with somber increasing synthesized strata, from which escape tones of a solitary trumpet which shouts in a murky night, surrounded by a synth to resonant waves. The arrangements are magnificent. We could believe hearing dramatic and dense Vangelis the orchestrations on a symphonic synth which lands on sea, straight to our ears.
More complex, the opening of In Face of Saturn soaks in a heterogeneous ocean where discreet pulsations are gobbled up by intense synthesized waves. A metallic world which unblocks on twinkling prism suite, where sequence percussions roll to a surprising musical opening with flutes filled of light tremolos that blow on a debonairly hypnotic sequence. Follows, a tremendous synth play of which the breaths of various symphonic tints spin on a sober pace where notes of piano add a harmonious depth to a title which astride as much an oniric tribal approach as a free-jazz orchestration.
Colliding Stars is a long ambient musical piece which floats on a furtive bass and big drum rolls in a cosmos full with a synth to latent modulations, of which escape sinuous and loud solos as well as weak bewitching vocalizes. A slow cosmic waltz which becomes more musical, courtesy of a beautiful synth accompanied with a more active bass and melodious chords enchanted by morphic choruses which cradle us until the dream limits.
Eternal Lights is a musical sweetness to make a rock cry. The kind of music that sticks to the soul starts with weak chimes which tint beneath the shade of a misty mellotron. A soft mellotron which draws a romantic axis with a tender synth stuffed with slow shivers which sound like the laments of a solitary soul. It is soft, superbly beautiful and it’s embellishing even more with its blowing choruses which befuddled the solicitude of a piano with melancholic chords. Chords lost in the breaths of a synth with musical tears. A very beautiful title that makes his imprints, happy as unhappy!
The first keys of Living Between Asteroids take us out of our melancholic torpor with an intro shapes of a big organ, kind of Phantom of Opera style. Afterward? Pure magic! A sequential movement orchestrates a resemblance with an acoustic guitar which scratches its ropes with a beautiful pep, while a symphonic synth pushes beautiful angelic strata. The more Living Between Asteroids evolves, the more its musicality modifies. From guitar, we fall on a magnificent piano play where Kistenmacher dexterity is not to be proved anymore. The whole thing is standing on a robust rhythmic which, once again, exceeds the limits of what EM is used to offering.
This is a solid Kistenmacher performance who fills full our ears and who closes this magnificent album with a superb sonata (Celestial Move) which is an acoustic version, played divinely on a piano, of Eternal Lights.
Celestial Movements is a splendid comeback album. Certainly, we are very far from the undisciplined movements of a Berlin School to organized improvisations, as well as the arrhythmic and unbridled sequences which filled the works of his former days. But the German synthesist offers an album without smudges, where everything is musically structured, while perpetuating his love of ambient cosmic (The Beginning and Colliding Stars) in an incredibly rich sound universe. Bernd Kistenmacher displayed treasures of ingenuity to offer an album of a musicality which, to this day, was never exploited by anyone in this surprising universe of EM.
A key album and a classic to become which is at the height of the incredible genius whom is Kistenmacher. One of the Top 5 of 2009!
Sylvain Lupari / Guts Of Darkness
Na meer dan een decennium absentie in de elektronische muziekscene heeft Berlijner Bernd Kistenmacher onlangs de draad weer opgepakt. Celestial Movements is een sterke comeback en laat direct horen dat de man eenvoudig goedwillende amateurs overvleugeld. Kistenmacher heeft namelijk het talent om 'soul' in zijn elektronische composities te leggen.
In 68 minuten presenteert hij zes tracks. Twee korte, kalme stukken als intro en outro met daar tussenin de langere zweef- annex sequencernummers. In Face Of Saturn begint zoekend, maar bloeit na een paar minuten open. Een kalme sequens start en Bernd soleert fraai met een soortement trompet-klank. Een redelijk symfonisch nummer. Colliding Stars is het hoogtepunt van de CD; een klanktapijt vol gevoel dat beelden van zwevende astronauten oproept. Hier hoor je eveneens statige symfonische geluiden. In de langste take van bijna 20 minuten, Living Between Asteroids, rollen de sequencers het hardste langs. Net even te veel kermisachtige potpourri in het begin, waarna de track langzaam kalmeert en uitgolft naar de afsluitende piano-melodie.
Wat een fijne plaat is dit. Kistenmacher weet de traditionele Berliner Schule-stijl een eigen schwung te geven waarin plaats is voor warmte. Welkom terug, Bernd!
2010. Robbert Schuller / iO Pages
This release from 2009 offers 68 minutes of stately electronic music.
A regal posture is established with dense texturals and stately keyboards.
The electronics display a solemn demeanor, generating tuneage that is rich with sovereign puissance. This serious approach has its jubilant moments, though, with nimble riffs periodically surfacing amid a pastiche of intellectual moods.
Keyboards provide a host of enticing riffs that softly combine to form a luxuriant state of cosmic ascension. Deep-voiced tones coexist with sparkling notes, resulting in a well-rounded sonic spectrum that is full of imperial flourish and astute charisma. Gentle passages feature auxiliary threads which flavor the flow with sprightly definition. In the fifth track, the keys achieve a vigor role that is quite glorious.
A degree of rhythms are found in a few tracks, but these tempos are usually kept in check, immersed in the flow so as to provide subtle locomotion without becoming too intrusive. In a few instances, however, the beats achieve a commanding presence.
Each track takes its time setting the mood and getting things moving. This slow-build fashion results in a temperate disposition that readies the listener for the deep mesmerization inherent in the songs. With the exception of the beginning and finishing pieces (which serve to set and deconstruct the astral stage), the tracks are long (from 10 to 19 minutes), allowing the melodies to evolve at a relaxed pace.
These compositions strive with great reverence to capture the beauty and splendor of interplanetary space, from the nobility of the rings of Saturn to the sedate agitation of the asteroid belt. A mood of breathtaking majesty is accomplished, and in some cases hyperactive keyboards attribute lively enhancement.
Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
Since I bought the album I listened many times. Many thanks Bernd Kistenmacher,so emotional and so strong powerfull electronic music,a masterpiece for me. I waited your amazing musics for long times. Especially I liked so much synthe solos on the first track. Delay and Synthe sound's colour so fantastic, the amazing sadly solo.
Highly recomended !!!!Greetings from Turkey,