Rainer Sauer "MOODS" - A review by Allan Wallace


This is a review of "MOODS" by Mr. Allan Wallace, Essex, May 2014:

"This music was made for headphone listening..." Rainer Sauer opens the official video for his new album with a warning and "MOODS" is a warning for the electronic music scene to sratch for new sounds and not for new styles. "Walking on thin ice - paying the price" Yoko Ono once said and that's still a fact in 2013.

For his "Language of the Soul" Sauer combines buzzing bees with fuzzy guitar licks, grunting synths, impressive angel voices and phasing synth chords across deep reverb like frantic instrumental parts. He also finds room for a tribute to the work of Richard Wright in the song "Hipgnosis" and he dedicades this to - of course - to the great Storm Thorgerson. The following song is called "An Electric Storm" and links the Wright / Thorgerson hommage to an album by David Vorhaus and White Noise, which Sauer consumed, when he was a young boy.

That's what makes "MOODS" extraordinary to me. There is an artist who combines a perfect summary of great progressive album-influences with the hunger for new inspiration after a decade of mainstream junk had poisened the synthesizer music. In 75 minutes Rainer Sauer shows not how to create commercial success, he looks for new soundsets and mixtures for the brain or deals with "The Language of the Soul".


Long ago in the Mid-Eighties Sauer was top with his band Velvet Universe and their album "Enigmas" which was a Number One hit and rightly won an award at the british "Electronic Music Fair 1985". Today Rainer Sauer doesn't play a lot of straight-up synthesizermusic. Songs like "Wide Angle an Zoom" (dedicated to Brian Eno and his wife Anthea) are compositions full of Innocence and of Experience in sound: "Wide Angle and Zoom" features only two sounds of the legendary Buddha Machine and is nevertheless a hypnotic 3D-journey into the soul, a shifting of space and time...listen to it, when you fall asleep and you'll find out. 


For some listeners it might be no that easy to fall in love with this album, because it has it's own mood [sic], less manic and more plaintive, even luxuriant at times. But Mr. Steve Reich himself listened to the song "Six iPhones" and was impressed, as he told Sauer last year. The sequence of this 7 minutes song is based on only five notes, but these five notes carry the whole song, pushing and pulling it forward and Sauer shows that minimal music is still alive in our days. On the other side Sauer's "Music for Aurora Night" (the 10 minute longplayer) has a collection of many different sounds and is an outstanding piece of instrumental music, more mental than music.

It is tempting to call "MOODS" an answer to Brian Eno's work and some similarities (piano sounds, repeats, all that reverb) make it easy. Seems to be the Livingstone / Stanley case with Sauer saying "Mr. Eno I presume...". But "MOODS" is closer to the work of german producer legend Conny Plank, who died 1987 – a thrilling act of risk and renewal by an artist with established commercial appeal. "If today's music is that what's normal now, I don't want to listen to it," Sauer said in an interview and he sounds a little bit like a guy for whom even this album, next time, won't be enough.

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