One half of Piano Interrupted, Franz Kirmann’s Meridians is noticeably low on piano. How much damage can he do by his lonesome?
Piano Interrupted has quickly burst onto the scene in the last few years, bolstered by the string of mesmerizing EPs and the terrific debut album, The Unified Field. Kirmann has also been honing his skills in a solo project, which focuses more on the electronic side of things. 2011’s Random Access Memories contained a hodgepodge of influences and markers, and it suffered a bit from a loss of identity. Meridians, in contrasts, drops much of the rock influences and focuses mainly on downtempo electronic and solemn ambience, finding a sweet spot in which Kirmann’s experimentation are fully realized.
Fans of old school Boards of Canada or Ulrich Schnauss should feel right at home amongst Kirmann’s bright, futuristic tracks. Several sound as if they could effortlessly slide into Daft Punk’s Tron soundtrack, like the hypnotic “Dancing on the Edge of the Void” or the darker “Only When Your Eyes are Closed.” Others take on the glistening ambient realm explored by the likes of Hammock and Tycho (“The Day We Threw the Keys Out the Window,” “Glider” ). Meridians is a colorful album that operates with rich tones and never sticks on one idea for too long. It carries the same ambitious narrative that marked Random Access Memories, but this time Kirmann’s execution is spot on and he delivers one of the summer must-listen albums.
Kirmann, and Denovali, have scored another hit with Meridians. Fans of the softer side of electronic or interested in the various permutations that ambient music can take should definitely look into Meridians and keep Kirmann on the radar.