After over 16 years as Kreidler drummer and a number of other guest appearances, Thomas Klein now presents his second solo album under the name SØLYST. "Lead" is a hypnotic journey into the heart of darkness. Foreboding synth patterns, menacing bass lines, driving drum figures, cavernous percussion effects: SØLYST delves into new depths with his "Tribal Kraut Dub".
Kreidler connaisseurs will be familiar with Klein's style of drumming. His trademark simultaneity of functionality and expressiveness cannot be mistaken. Thomas Klein has thus earned his rightful place alongside illustrious Krautrock drummers like Jaki Liebezeit (Can), Klaus Dinger (NEU!) and Mani Neumeier (Guru Guru), every one of them a master of his craft, each bringing his own unique personality and technique to the music. Klein is possibly closest to Liebezeit in terms of lineage: complex rhythms in endless loops with small, yet subtle scatterings.
Ten pieces are collected on "Lead". The first of these, "Pierbourg", rolls into the unknown with stoic determination, as if feeling its way through an indefinable darkness to leave its mark. A fierce, stomping beat drives straight ahead, unperturbed, leaving no doubt as to its decisiveness. Drums, percussion, synth patterns, delays and skeletal, sparse fragments of melodies characterize the sound over the next 40 minutes. The album docks onto the sonic universe of its predecessor, yet the sound is somewhat clearer and more polished. After a number of euphoric and more relaxed moments, with driving and pulsating pieces of springy lightness and leaden heaviness, the journey ends with "Schnee". The pressure dissolves into a hypnotic, relaxed movement, finding a moderate rhythm, and turns its gaze toward the stars.
The physical, with all kinds of percussion, remains essential with SØLYST. Through its conception and implementation, "Lead" demonstrates just how the scope of this physicality can be explored. Klein's use of drums and percussion becomes a living, driving, urgent source of energy. But the rudimentary melodies and the overall atmosphere are also shaped in large part by the drums. The range of moods alternates between a supercool distance and heated immediacy. Like the different aggregate states of a single substance, the drumming constantly changes its form, and thus its role.
The electronic sounds and sequences are run through chains of delays to become dynamic, strongly emotional structures. These are met with the exceptional drumming of Thomas Klein, whose instrument often becomes the actual protagonist. However, the focus is never on ability or virtuosity, but on the tension between these two interlocking components and their extremely lively interaction. The way the acoustic drums and electronic sounds seem to connect, combat and combine is the special, exciting, thrilling aspect of "Lead"!