Mathias Rehfeldt - Dark Matter

12 songs
57:42 minutes
***** ****
M Music


So thatís a first: reviewing for DisAgreement Online an album released on a record label for classical music! After my co-conspirator Lex told me that he couldnít do anything at all with Mathias Rehfeldtís album Dark Matter, I was intrigued and had to give it a chance. Mathias Rehfeldt is a classically trained church organist from Germany, but he always felt like his chosen instrument is often played to conservatively. Having written scores for films and TV shows, and playing live organ music for ancient silent movies, he especially tried with the latter to add modern electronic touches. Thatís when he noticed that the audience really liked that new approach, which led Mathias Rehfeldt to explore this kind of crossover even further.

Dark Matter is his first solo longplayer, coming three years after his debut EP Nocturnal Bleedings, and it offers twelve really astonishing songs during its one hour running time. Most songs build strongly on grave church organ sounds, but discreet electronic beats and synthesizer sounds transport them into more modern times. I donít want to dissect each and every song, but the artistís experimental vein goes so far that next to more traditional pieces you will also find the abrasive Elegie which sounds like something Squarepusher could have done, or the very Eighties sounding Arcade which could have been the soundtrack for one of those vintage racing video games.

I find myself sometimes listening to the organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach, and also have had a long running fondness for the organ style of Van Der Graaf Generatorís Hugh Banton, who once recorded his own rendition of Bachís Goldberg Variations. Therefore it was no huge step for me to like Mathias Rehfeldtís Dark Matter. If you really like the gravitas and the severity of a church organ, but donít really feel like going to church, Dark Matter is just the right compromise for you. The ancient church organ feeling is spiced up with the digital technology of the here and now, making for a splendid hybrid that combines the best of the past and the present.

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