Yann Tiersen – Kerber (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/96kHz | Time – 45:57 minutes | 900 MB | Genre: Modern Classical, Electronic
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Mute
Kerber, the new album from Yann Tiersen, is a beautifully textured, highly immersive and thoughtfully constructed electronic world to step inside of. Piercing piano keys merge with swirling soundscapes, as Tiersen explores the possibilities of infinite smallness. The album was created and recorded at The Eskal, the studio he built on Ushant (the island where he lives, located 30 kilometres off the west coast of Brittany in the Celtic Sea), and Kerber is named after a chapel in a small village on the island while each track sonically maps the landscape that surrounds Tiersen’s home.
Since the 2010 album Dust Lane saw him break out of the standard trad-acoustic mould in which he had made his name in the 1990s, Yann Tiersen has spent the last decade exploring new sounds. A craftsman, Tiersen likes to play with textures, and he doesn’t shy away from experimentation. For the past ten years, each new album has been a playground for him, an opportunity to chance another roll of the creative dice. This latest period has brought out the best in him – the deliciously grimy, post-rock sound of Skyline (2011) – as well as the worst, such as the incomprehensible Infinity (2014), which mixed a plethora of influences to the point of indigestibility. But that’s the nature of experimental research: you have to make a few mistakes to find the right mix.
However, this much is clear: Kerber is a gem. Recorded on Ouessant, Tiersen’s favourite island, where he has built his own recording studio, L’Eskal, this album is much more than just a comeback. It is also the exciting opening of a new chapter in his musical journey. It seems here that Tiersen has found the perfect balance between all the elements that make up his signature sound: naive and heady piano ritornellos, vernacular songs, electro sounds, and “field recordings” (ambient sounds recorded outdoors). These ingredients merge more smoothly than ever before. The musician is building a new soundscape of striking purity, stone by stone. The whole work is held together by the idea of territory. In a geographical sense first of all: there’s Brittany and its infinite ocean, which is always present in the background. But there is also a more physical, more sensory territory here, too. We are left speechless by the care that has gone into recording the piano part: since one can feel all the living matter of the instrument, the breath of the pedal, the rebounds of the hammers, the resonance of the strings. This is a sumptuous setting, which gives the electronic part free rein to sketch out melodies that evoke horizons between sky and sea. It’s all got an irresistible maritime charm. But before you set sail, take the time to listen to Ar Maner Kozh (track 2) which is surely the high point and culmination of the whole work. – Pierre LAMY
1. Yann Tiersen – Kerlann (06:32)
2. Yann Tiersen – Ar Maner Kozh (06:03)
3. Yann Tiersen – Kerdrall (05:31)
4. Yann Tiersen & Gareth Jones – Ker Yegu (04:34)
5. Yann Tiersen & Gareth Jones – Ker al Loch (06:49)
6. Yann Tiersen – Kerber (10:19)
7. Yann Tiersen & Gareth Jones – Poull Bojer (06:09)