"Johannes Schebler's Baldruin has emerged over the last couple of years via a stream of enchanting tapes, including several splits on the SicSic label. His largely acoustic psychedelic miniatures suggest dark fairytale stumbles across strange and spectral things in the deep woods, leaving the listener with fleeting, amorphous impressions. Comparisons are hard to draw, but there are occasional hints of Popul Vuh, or Faust's more pastoral moments.
This album consists of collaborations with 14 like-minded artists, the list of which reads like a partial who's who of the current cassette underground."
Paul Condon, Fort Evil Fruit
Edition of 100
23 tracks and 67 minutes.
"Sound of a hand pushing lenticular clouds into lakes of salt.
Baldruin’s seventh or so tape in the past three years is an oddity in all the most fascinating of ways, not the least of which is the sonic appearance of a guest-artist from the far reaches of weirdness on every one of the twenty three tracks this lengthy tape features.
Sound of a woodpecker pounding on a warped record that’s been hung from a branch on a dead elm.
Someone besides myself might describe it as ambient, or even krautrock-ish. I’d say it has elements of those, but it seems more like a sound collage than something belonging to an easily definable genre. I don’t think anyone else will call it a sound collage.
Sound of a snowdrift spinning in the alcove of your left lung.
The songs here are more like a series of vignettes, usually short and focused around varied, but aesthetically cohesive, atmospheres and techniques, creating an experience that could be called, as Fort Evil Fruit’s blog describes it, kaleidoscopic, but which I would relate more to the effect of looking at an old, stereoscopic View-Master reel.
Sound of eye floaters leaking out to slide down a featureless face.
That is to say, each song feels like a slide, or a photo in a gallery. No doubt the great number of hands contributing their own unique voices, instrumentation, and spirits to the album are responsible for each short song holding such a distinct identity.
Sound of sweeping glass off the sidewalk behind the collapsing facades of a shopping mall.
And that variety is a big part of what keeps this tape interesting throughout; at one moment you’ll be hearing what sounds like the gurgles and nervous chatter of a family of ghouls, then following that will be a lullaby tune of softly sung vocals and opium-drenched arpeggios floating towards the ceiling, and later still there will be the static-rich clip of a news broadcast.
Sound of words stuck in your teeth and coating your tongue.
Weaving all of these scenes together is a sense of vertigo that’s just startling enough to be oddly comforting, even warm in a strange sort of way—
Sound of small and blurry figures running circles through a topographic map of your brain.
—a hypothermic delirium to the tune of music boxes, warped and warbling human voices, aging synthesizers, scarcely recognizable field recordings of objects being rattled or shuffled around.
Sound of mussel shells whispering into the soles of your feet.
Sometimes the variations feel endless, at others a melody or fragment of sound rises out of the medley, resonating with a vague familiarity that can hardly be traced (in a sense this is a reflection of one of the best qualities of the tape as a format—no easy back-tracking).
Sound of typewriters ejecting papers for a book composed solely of empty spaces.
On second thought, perhaps it is kaleidoscopic in the way that these separated songs have a tendency to subtly interpenetrate each other—a kaleidoscopic View-Master you found buried beneath stacks of sun-bleached magazines in your grandparent’s attic.
Sound of organs blaring from a church that’s been buried in the body of a sand dune.
I’ve mentioned already that it’s quite a long tape, but I should reiterate that: often tape releases are quite short things, maybe a twenty-minute demo or something, but this feels more like a full listening experience. I’m not going to sit here with a stop watch and time it or something, but you know, it feels like a long time whenever I listen to it.
Sound of an archaeological dig floating through an aurora in the mesosphere.
I’m surprised Baldruin hasn’t seemed to have received (as) much attention (as I think he should) from this tape. It’s an endlessly fascinating series of aural experiments, and it would have ended up on my year end list for 2013 had I heard it a couple of weeks earlier.
Sound of falling further into sleep until you can’t speak for your body unfurling into gray ribbons that resemble folded wings on a snowy television screen."
Worm Gear | Extreme Music Journal