One of the initial releases of the Monika label, Vermona ET 6-1 is the first widely available album of Barbara Morgenstern, and while it's rudimentary and fairly modest relative to her subsequent work, beginning with the following year's Fjorden (2000), it's pleasant nonetheless and should be particularly interesting for devotees curious about the Berliner's roots. Morgenstern's indie electronica tendencies are most apparent here, as over half the album is comprised of electronic instrumentals that carry on for a few minutes, generally exploring a small palette of bleepy sounds in a riff-like fashion. Rhythms are employed, but this is not dance music; it's more post-rock than techno, arguably. The first few even-numbered tracks are actual songs, highlighted by Morgenstern's tentative singing. Though there are a couple other standouts, "Die Liebe" is the key song. On this track, Morgenstern accompanies her singing with piano, in addition to electronics, in a fashion that would increasingly become her trademark style on successive releases. Vermona ET 6-1 is the one Monika album by Morgenstern that can be safely skipped without significant loss. Beginning with Fjorden, her follow-up, she would become much more ambitious than she is here, and her musicianship would become much more dynamic and wide-ranging. Here, however, Morgenstern sounds limited by what she's able to produce musically -- perhaps because of budget constraints, as this album was released in the '90s -- and her songwriting is similarly limited, albeit only in creative approach. It's rudimentariness and modesty aside, Vermona ET 6-1 is an interesting listen for fans who are curious about the roots of Morgenstern's work, for this is the creative foundation from which her subsequent ideas would grow.
AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier