Review

Wanderwelle

All Hands Bury The Cliffs At Sea

Important • 2023

The band’s name already contains a nice play on words: Wanderwelle is the name given to their project by Phil van Dulm and Alexander Bartels from Amsterdam. With their current album, the second part of a trilogy, entitled »All Hands Bury The Cliffs At Sea«, the apocalyptic poetry of which evokes bands like Current 93, one could be forgiven for thinking there was a connection between the sea and the wave in the band’s name. But their travelling wave is more of a physical phenomenon which has to do with sound or electricity, physics. It certainly suits the music, though, because the sounds that Wanderwelle celebrate are predominantly drawn-out chords, languid frequencies between noise and sound, held together by a good dose of reverb. It could easily be called ambient, in an electro-acoustic version. You can hear strings, winds, an organ and some undefinable percussion. The latter not for continuous rhythms, but for occasional, single accents. You are probably not entirely wrong if you believe you can hear a sadness that spreads over everything. It’s a sweet sadness, mind you. The record thematises coastal changes brought about by climate change. Is that all it is about, lamenting a loss, a swan song to all that is disappearing forever? After all: an organ featured on the album was pretty much completely destroyed by a nearby cliff collapsing. The fact that it can still be heard on Wanderwelle can be seen as cautious optimism.