Grace Notes: Emil Klotzsch, Youth Lagoon
Grace Notes is a weekly exploration by Jason Morehead of signs of common grace in the music world. We hope to alert you to wonderful music, some of which will be spiritual in nature but all of which will be unique and worthy of your attention. Each week we will share brief reviews of albums worthy of your attention and maybe a video or two.
Several years ago, Emil Klotzsch — a movie sound designer from Germany — took a trip through the Scottish highlands. While he was there, he made a series of environmental recordings of the landscape. These recordings serve as the basis for the ambient songs on Tiefe Berge. The second half of the album is a bit spotty to be honest, but the album’s first half is quite sublime. These four songs are full of windswept beauty and evoke mental pictures of vast landscapes and lonely yet majestic vistas. One can easily imagine themselves wandering through the remote and barren highlands, and perhaps stumbling across the black lakes and small vestiges of civilization that Klotzsch describes in the liner notes. These songs are a perfect example of what I love about ambient music, i.e., its potential to conjure up entire worlds within its songless structures that the listener can then enter into and explore. Indeed, given the expansive nature of Klotzsch’s sound, “exploration” feels like an apt description of what one is actually doing while listening to it.
It’s been awhile since a music video has been featured here on “Grace Notes”, but this one’s a doozy. If you’ve ever wandered what it’d be like if The Tree of Life had been a music video, then Youth Lagoon’s video for “Montana” is for you.
Related: Pitchfork interviews the video’s director, Tyler T. Williams