III sails along through the rapids of life, but it wears a pale face that’s forgotten how to smile. Shades of sadness flicker occasionally over its features, its topography lined by loss. The record never descends into a depressed pit, though. It’s a thin line that requires a delicate, supreme sense of balance. III is a distilled state of melancholia. It never oppresses, nor does it suffocate. It’s a stained mood on a pane of clear glass. The sullen atmosphere stays cool, and the temperature’s just about bearable.
Bersarin Quartett (Thomas Bücker) has always meticulously crafted his music. Piece by perfected piece, the music eventually gels together. In some places though, the music reaches and enters a secret place that exists beyond the tight confines of artistic control. The music loses itself, and this is what the artist has been searching for as it spirals into its enlightened state. It’s a place where the music evolves and expresses itself naturally without the fear of interference. You can take your hands away from the wheel and admire the view.
Clouds that carry shaded thoughts pass over the music, of people who you lost along the way, of things let go. String arrangements and light electronic textures swirl in the mist. Slow, padded beats steer the music forward, and later, light percussion dapples the music in what is a jazz-flavoured tone. It helps to keep the sadness at bay. The textures are already heavy; a concrete beat would only add to the weight of the mood. Darker and more substantial beats roll beside the strings, but it’s still able to retain its minimal mood. Bücker is also supremely talented as a composer and as an arranger. Every composition feels right, the stability maintained in perfect flight. Horns vaguely enter, and then they vanish. Gentle crescendos help to push the music away from the raft, leaving it to coast on still, tonal waters. Misty vapours hang in the air. Predatory, primeval creatures lurk beneath the water, leaving behind stealthy ripples of stolen air. Thankfully, though, the music swims in the right direction.
At times swept along by a period of rough turbulence, the cloudy (but not muddy) textures constantly congeal and dissipate. The electronics are wired into the composition like some kind of raw, unfiltered voltage. Ultimately, the thoughtful melancholy keeps at least a couple of clouds up in the sky where they hang, obscuring and severing the optimistic light of the sun. Synths offer a degree of radiance, but the mood remains introspective. A little ice-covered blade that hasn’t had the chance to thaw is still stuck in the soul. It keeps the music chained to the shadows. It’s the sound of a rainy mood.