A Berlin-based pianist and composer who has spent the majority of his career exploring the complex juxtaposition of life’s opposites, Winfried Strauss has become on the most captivating musicians in modern music. Finding his sound in the tense, often polarising intersections between light and dark, loud and quiet, simple and complex, Winfried’s work highlights the natural tensions of our world, reflecting on them with a deep, experimental edge.
His latest minimalist project, ‘Textures of Being’ is driven by piano keys, ambient electronics, and a visceral avant-garde ethos, creating harmony out of life’s more entropic moments. In his own words, Winfried explained the influences behind his music and the new project, capturing its essence brilliantly, “I paint pictures with my music. They’re inspired by dark and ugly emotions but beautiful things as well. So I invite people to feel these feelings and join the ride.“
From the very start, ‘Textures of Being’ paints a wonderfully textured picture. Emerging from the silence with a string of evocative piano notes and ruminating strings, it slowly evolves into a perfectly orchestrated cacophony of spoken words and electronics flourishes. A dark, unfolding soundscape that builds with every track, ‘Lenore’ and ‘Lost Dream’ have unmistakable gothic sounds that are built on the vocals of Nikolas Schreck, while ‘Benchmark 03’ has a building sonic sound that transforms into a cutting, astral epic.
Elsewhere, ‘Colorful Black’ combines the busy sounds of modern life with textured piano notes, contrasting more ambient sounds with the hustle and bustle of our daily lives to create something real magnitude. Closing number, ‘Song Without a Name’ is wonderfully familiar, offering a lavish piano track reminiscent of Emeli Sande’s ‘Read All About It (Part III)’. It’s a brilliant album closer, and a track that really leaves a lasting impact upon the listener.
A dark, evocative release that has a wonderfully diverse underpinning, ‘Textures of Being’ is a rare, reflective album that captures the energy of modern life and contrasts it with evolving ambient textures. It’s an evolving release of impressive, tactile sounds that highlights Winfried’s creative spirit, and it definitely shouldn’t be missed.
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