German electronic music producer Christian Löffler has released his new album Graal (Prologue). This gorgeous slice of electronic, ambient and techno finds him in new place writing music and it feels fresh and new.
At just 6 songs and 30 minutes, this is pushing the limits of what we call an album, but if that is what they are designating it for legal, then so be it.
He doesn’t try and overcomplicate many of his productions, letting many of the layers sit on their own and build slowly. The record starts off a little more upbeat with “Ry” to capture the listener’s attention as plucks fire away over a steady bassline. Then the six-track project settles into one of its two vocal records. They aren’t the traditional tracks with big, soulful voices, but rather soft, soothing vocals that mesh into the song and float over the instrumentals that Löffler builds.
The album was created in a different space for Löffler than usual. He was touring extensively during 2017 and early 2018 and couldn’t find the headspace to produce. He took three weeks away from music and came back refreshed. He was still touring, but managed to write these songs on the road as a musical diary from the road. They reflect a journey on trains, planes and automobiles through exhaustion, late nights, somber skies and beautiful scenery.
That image can be felt through his music that rolls and turns with fluttering arps, soft percussion and smooth synths that all feel warm, but with a creeping sense of melancholy.
Graal (Prologue) may be split up into six songs, but it is a seamless listen from start to finish.
Having heard these songs last month at National Sawdust, the tunes do work in the live setting with their calming synths and the slow undercurrent of bass.
Löffler will release a companion album later this year that will be more of a classic studio album, recorded at his home and be illustrated with paintings.