Läuten Der Seele

Ertrunken Im Seichtesten Gewässer

World Of Echo • 2023

Christian Schoppik, one half of Würzburg’s dark folk duo Brannten Schnüre, presents his third solo album in the space of two years, following his untitled début and »Die Mariengrotte Als Trinkwasseraufbereitungsanlage«. Inspired by a forgotten valley between Franconian vineyards, he wades through an enchanted soundscape with »Ertrunken Im Seichtesten Gewässer«, past »Molch, Pfütze, Schilf und Stein« on the A-side, and »Knochen, Mond, Buchstabe und Tropfen« on the B-side. 

As on previous albums, samples from Schoppik’s archive have been assembled here, like the crunchy patina of recordings of orchestral movements, organ pipes, choirs, strings and whispering field recordings. You can hear the dust that has collected on a romantic theme or a shy laugh. The home movie samples are more reduced, but the focus is on textures ranging from dreamy to wistful. On the A-side, a twitching, disjointed accordion plays while a rapt film orchestra swoons; above it, a single violin circles confusedly in the highest notes, and it is only in this interplay that the whimsical vignette of a fairytale afternoon emerges. When cowbells and harps alternate, a whimsical lullaby is sung and strings spiral leisurely into the ether, it is not difficult to imagine yourself in the delicate sphere of half-sleep, which takes on a more serious tone on »Knochen, Mond, Buchstabe und Tropfen« [Bone, Moon, Letter and Drop]. Things are much more evocative here, with a sometimes dark soundscape unfolding. This is perhaps the sound of wistfulness at the sight of an overgrown pond at the bottom of a remote Franconian hollow, and at the same time the vague memory of a child’s gaze that once joyfully forgot itself in it. But »Ertrunken Im Seichtesten Gewässer« [Drowned in the Shallowest Water] is also a testament to a landscape that is fading, just like its memory.