Paul Schütze

New Maps of Hell 2: The Rapture of Metals

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The title of this CD might erroneously suggest something heavy, abrasive and industrial, but The Rapture of Metals is in part an elegant homage to the metallic gongs of the Indonesian gamelan orchestra. The title track is the most overtly Indonesian, with electronic drones and effects enhancing a traditional gamelan gong pattern. But on several other tracks, Schütze further personalizes his use of gongs, capturing the dreamy, otherworldly quality of Indonesian court music not just by "Westernizing" Indonesian motifs but by blending gamelan sounds and scales with his own rather haunting musical vision. Elsewhere on the CD, Schütze utilizes keyboard synthesizers and sophisticated electronic processing to create thick, ambivalent atmospheres which explore the boundaries between madness and ecstasy. "The Rapture of Drowning" has a viscous, aquatic texture and bursts of nightmarish discord, but nonetheless suggests a transcendent experience of some sort. And the final 20-minute piece, "Sites of Rapture on the Lungs of God," is a series of elongated musical inhalations and exhalations, comprised of cathedral organ chords, sonorous drones, intriguing dissonances and various strange electronic treatments which add another level of dislocation to the music.

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