THE GERMAN composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Johann Pätzold, who records as Secret of Elements, has announced the release of his first album since 2011’s Minds.
It’s to be entitled Chronos, and it’ll be with us come the back end of April; but today he’s dropped as a welcome the track “Cassini”, which you can hear below.
It fuses the world of electronica – more specifically, perhaps, the world of analogue ambient tronica – with a more modern compositional approach; a piano figure marking time with clattering percussive undertow, all swathed and eventually subsumed by cascades of old-skool melodic synth chatter. It has grandeur, that’s for sure; it’s music to survey a cosmic vista to, much as that lonely probe did for a decade and more.
It’s named, of course, for the space probe that spent almost 13 years exploring Saturn before burning up in its upper atmosphere.
But it’s also part of a larger sonic evocation of Johann’s personal struggles and upheavals over the past decade.
We’re told that Chronos charts a decade during which Pätzold learned to deal with mental illness – his first album was written in hospital in the middle of a nervous breakdown; it tells in sound of his travels to the Mediterranean to save lives during the refugee crisis, and how he fell in love and lost love.
In 2017 he was a guiding light in the realisation of Carl Craig’s Versus, in which the Detroit producer’s work was transposed through a classical filter. With InFiné, he released two EPs, Monumentum and Odesea, both of which were heavily influenced by the migration crisis and the reception of Syrian populations in Germany in 2015 and 2016.
Secret of Elements’ Chronos will be released by InFiné digitally and on CD on April 23rd. It’ll be available for pre-order soon over at the label’s Bandcamp page.