Compest - Leitern und Pfade CS (Oxidation)


Compest is Martin Steinebach.

Active for more than 25 years, German sound artist Martin Steinebach has used several monikers through the years. First known as Conscientia Peccati (orchestral and ritual/tribal synthetic atmospheres), Steinebach later launched two other projects to explore new paths: Monoid for more rhythmic industrial sounds, and StillStand for more ambient abstract soundscapes. Then he melted all his influences in Compest that can be seen as a kind of meta-project. Compest had nearly a dozen releases since it was launched in 2004, exploring many different styles.

For this new cassette on the US label Oxidation, Steinebach does indeed not focus on just one style. Seven tracks are included on "Leitern und Pfade" ("Ladders and paths") and its title couldn't be better chosen. They follow different paths and could nonetheless be connected through ladders. From the opening "Leiter" and its sparse minimal electronic sounds to the more melodic closing "Abseits", we wander in analogic (modular?) synth soundscapes ("Aufstieg"), delicate and epic atmospheres (the wonderful "Sprossen" and "Pfad") and more frightening/menacing tracks ("Oben" for instance"), yet there is a strong cohesion between these seven tracks. An excellent work!

-Jean-Marc Taâlem