Inland Empire by Das Weiße Pferd (2013)

2014 #munich again Top Albums

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Surprise! Actually, not much of a surprise. We all know how much of a Das Weiße Pferd fangirl I am.

Das Weiße Pferd…. the project of two of my “faves”, misters Pöschl and Sánchez, a project that has grown a lot since San Fernando (which is an album of raw magic, to be listened to as often as possible). Inland Empire is something else. It has a musical maturity that is out of the ordinary, it’s so intelligently constructed that you can find solace in its beauty.

So yes. Übertalented musicians teaming up to create intelligent music. The range is wide : voice, many guitars, bass, keyboard, synth, bongos, marimba, melodica, violin, drums and other percs, ukulele. And I also count Federico Sánchez’ voice as an instrument because DAMN that voice is strong and fierce and has a range of basically everything (notes, emotions, volumes, everything really) SO wide that it’s like an hybrid between a wind and a chord instrument.

And there’s the guest appearances too, so yes the list making DWP music NOT your typical boy band goes on and on and it’s in the subtleties, the little layer added to the track, the under-melody, the little glockenspiel notes here and there, this is what makes the band stand out and that’s what makes Das Weiße Pferd’s music so exceptional.

And I’ve not even begun to talk about the texts. I won’t talk a lot about the texts, too, for I don’t fully grasp how amazing their poetry is and I have the biggest fear of missing something out. Cool story though :  the first time I listened to Das Weiße Pferd, I told myself : “yeah, I’ll learn this language, if only to be able to grasp the depth of this music”. I’m starting classes in January 🙂

Real talk now. First thing first : BUY the LP. The art is amazing, there are lyrics and details about the tracks, the album divides amazingly well in two sides, etc. Buy it. The sound is amazing on Hifi system. I won’t cover the details of the tracks because BUY IT *in flashing neon lights*.

There’s something about Espacio through Im/Zeit/Raum that is pretty unique. Is it because the perpetual movement in the songs feels like a train ride in secret luxuriant colourful lands, the soft caress of the back vocals, the raw proximity of the hand-clapping mix? Every song is a journey in a different time and space (pun intended).

Espacio (Spanish lyrics here), what a way to start an album! Let the music take its time. The music itself can be the chorus. The backvocals fill your ears and your chest. Let Sánchez’ intonations speak louder than languages (general advice for the whole album, too).

Blaue Magie is a fine piece of guitar and violin flying everywhere, but, like, it’s not about that and that’s what makes it so wonderful? it’s not an ego trip, it’s just great music for the sake of intelligent great music, thanks Mister Pöschl. It’s a little over 2 minutes, and yet, it leaves you pondering about it for so long that you just press Play again.

We continue to travel (quite literally in your mind at least, listen to the track and it’s gonna be so clear, that’s what Sánchez’ music does to you) with In and Old Greek to land on this 8 minutes trilogy that is Im/Zeit/Raum. It’s a masterpiece. Enough said. It’s so perfectly executed that we should create religions based on this song (maybe there’d be less misogyny and xenophobia in the world).

The B-Side is something else. The first thing that comes to mind is that the melodies are singing a duet with mister Sánchez. The guitar in Große Freiheit is the second part of that “we” in this marvellous lyrical and musical poetry.

Same goes with Perdido, where the ghost of the aquarium mixed violin feels like a souvenir fromYou Are a Refrain in the most delicate and intimate way. One day, I need to hear this track live just to see how evolutive it still is, and how the band “sits” in it. It’s one of the iconic DWP tracks, really.

Höhere Gewalt starts so softly that you feel like it’s gonna be a “interlude track” but HAHA! Eat a violin solo right in the teeth and the cleanest countercounterbeat magical melody ever. I’m so mad at this track. We should create the adjective “pferdian” just for this track. This is such a pferdian song.

Damn, this is such a long post. I won’t be quite expansive on the magic that are Die Hitze im Zimmer and Groß in Hellabrunn, because we all know how amazing these tracks are. Fast paced, complete, always going forward, you want to close your eyes and improvise some hybrid dance from another time.

And then you slowly drift up and away to the waltzy folk of La Noche. It’s not a bedtime ballad. It’s a millennial campfire story. Try to remember, and find it!

Have a good listen/re-listen, and see you around soon for more Münchner Freiheit enthousiasm (less than two months to go!).