Image credit: Sven Marquardt
Movement, change and constant transformation. These omnipotent motifs have always
run through Christoph Dahlberg‘s interdisciplinary work. Whether as a visual artist
creating forms of bronze and steel, that is sometimes smooth and sometimes rugged or
as a musician, producer and performer creating multimedia sound worlds between
ambient, industrial and electronica. On his second studio album Blackforms, the
40-year-old now embarks on an atmospheric journey to the Self leading from darkness
through light and finally ends in universal nothingness.
On his concept album Blackforms, Christoph Dahlberg walks in a stylistic grey zone of
experimental electronica, noisy ambient and atmospheric neo-classical music. Boundaries
between deconstruction and transformation seem to melt into a gigantic black noise.
Blackforms is both an end and a beginning. In a world marked by chaos, decay and the
formation of new orders, Dahlberg channels his inner furore into a gloomy and apocalyptic
epic, combining his personal interpretation of the present and his own personal history
into something of magnitude, yet still floating.
“Blackforms“ is the result of nocturnal thought loops refined by Dahlberg during recording
sessions that often lasted for days. What emerges is a cinematic and astonishingly
consistent composition. A transformative creative process, where each track represents a
step closer towards the endless void. He was supported by cellist Tobias Unterberg (The
Inchtabokatables, Deine Lakaien, Chamber), who lends an organic, chamber music facet to
Dahlberg’s synthetic sound sculptures.
Works of the German-language poet Paul Celan and the larger-than-life force that is
Anselm Kiefer, whose painting Dahlberg describes as his personal introduction to abstract
art, serves as a particular inspiration, among others. “Similar to Celan‘s and Kiefer’s works,
there is a hopelessness and emptiness on the new album. There are glimpses of optimism
scattered around, yet they only flicker briefly before expiring into the void. “This is already
demonstrated in Dahlberg’s Opener, which is an interpretation of Paul Celan‘s poem “Der
Sand aus den Urnen”: A reckoning with the topics of national socialism and antisemitism,
captured by Christoph Dahlberg in an emotive opening lamentation.
Ellipses of the cello, fleeting piano notes and distorted sounds of the base are found in
“Erebos”. They reveal a dark beauty in a deep slumber, an atmosphere reminiscent in its
intensity of the collaborations of Nick Cave & Warren Ellis or Max Richter & Daniel Hope.
In the highly emotional title track “Blackforms”, Dahlberg makes black sandy beaches
appear before the inner eye. They are followed by “Firmament“, which appears as a moment of light breaking through, in order, finally, to merge into the three-part ambient
pop meditation “Gods End“. After a moment of silence, hazy drone loops take share in
“Heart Knocks Silent” before Christoph Dahlberg enters alien spheres with a track named
after the Martian crater “Jerez“.
Overlapping frequencies and scraps of noise manifest a collision in a vacuum before the
torn fragments on “Kristall” drift further towards the infinite void. In its dystopian final
track “The Future is Now“, “Blackforms” reaches its climax, during which a sinister cello
theme, lacking soul and producing mechanical, disharmonic commotion, culminates in a
single black buzz. Arrival in nothingness. “Looking into the abyss is so terrible and
frightening sometimes that something moves inside you.” This movement is what
“Blackforms“ has been initiated.
Blackforms will be released as an LP and digitally on 02.12.2022 on the Leipzig label