‘In Between’ is a fitting title for Christian Grothe’s latest EP. Touching on ambient, post-rock and classical music, the German composer could be perceived as a dabbler but Grothe’s versatility is one of his main strengths and his music under the moniker of Kryshe reveals great maturity and subtlety for someone who only released his first compositions less than a year ago.
The title track is bathed in warm ambient textures; the piano parts emerging like the pitter-patter of gentle rain. It’s undoubtedly melancholic but in a comforting way and the key melody is like rediscovering an old friend. ‘Iceland’ is unerringly tuneful, reshaping a music box motif into a yearning post-rock number, where each key change seems to ache a little more than the last. After ‘Lone’ represents a stark, reverberating centrepiece, a watery, portentous ‘Africa’ threatens to work itself up into a storm but instead holds back with some delicious use of restraint and experimental touches. This just leaves the stately, tear-stained melodrama of the finale ‘Lullaby’; the nearest Grothe gets to modern classical.
With each track offering something different, Grothe packs a great deal into twenty five minutes of instumental music. Minimalist this may be but ‘In Between’ is abundant with possibilities.
Harold Budd, Bruno Sanfilippo