OBERLIN “Grauer Morgen, Ungewisse Bilder” C40 (Cosmic Winnetou)

Dissolving the edges: that’s the Oberlin way, whereby nothing is defined and one thing blends into the next. This soft-focus approach is the perfect methodology for Grauer Morgen, Ungewisse Bilder, Oberlin’s latest foray into spectral ambient on Cosmic Winnetou. It’s not unusual at all that it settles over you like a thick blanket of fog and hovers there, the chill settling into your bones and your mind, leaving you yearning for a warmer enclosure. Even when you make it back inside, that haze remains, coating your psyche. You can’t shake it, and you’re not sure you want to.

“Somewhere between the rivers Rhine and Moselle” is where Oberlin stakes out territory, the wintry German landscape a fitting subject for the cautious artist. Guitar, piano, and Eurorack blur in tonal euphony, the stillness the sounds represent causing an overwhelming sense of longing and nostalgia. Even on “Nebelhorn,” which emerges from the mist as a soaring punctuation mark two-thirds of the way through the tape, the pacing is so deliberate that your only recourse is to meditate upon it. As it turns out, you’ve been meditating upon everything this whole time – perhaps Oberlin is exactly what you need in your life for self-discovery and -improvement?