EBERHARD WEBER — Pendulum (review)

EBERHARD WEBER — Pendulum album cover Album · 1993 · Post-Fusion Contemporary Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Steve Wyzard
LATE NIGHT CONTEMPLATIVE

This is definitely not Eberhard Weber's most accessible album, but it is one of his very best. In fact, it can stand head-and-shoulders next to masterpieces like Yellow Fields and Silent Feet in spite of being very different from those two albums. This otherworldly music is produced entirely by Weber himself with the assistance of an echo unit, and the results are unlike anything you've ever heard. Don't expect a typical bass soloist album: at times, it sounds like there are at least five different players/instruments (including percussion) performing at one time. Much thought has gone into the final product, as these are wholly-conceived compositions, not rambling solos.

From the fluid virtuosity of "Street Scenes" to the hauntingly nostalgic "Silent for a While", every track is a show-stopper and a world unto its own. The sometimes dreamy atmospheres and textures could elicit accusations of "new age", but the material never settles for simple prettiness. Conversely, don't let the scratching, searching arco performances scare you: there are experimental explorations, but they never degenerate into ugliness or contemptuousness. With Pendulum, Weber reaches his absolute peak as a composer, performer, and sound-painter, and if you have any familiarity with his group albums, this album is a quintessential must-own. One would be hard-pressed to find a better, more fascinating ECM release from the entire decade of the 1990s.
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