Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Daniel Wohl: Corps Exquis
For me, Daniel Wohl's music lands somewhere between classical and ambient. And those are two musical worlds that seldom connect.
The building blocks of the soundscapes Wohl creates in Corps Exquis are common to ambient and trance, but the way he uses them is more classical in structure. This isn't just stringing together cool-sounding samples in a studio to create a mood. Rather, this is (to my ears) carefully constructed music that has some substance and depth to it.
Plus ou moins, the longest work on the album, is a good example of this. The piano ostinato that gradually morphs sounds minimalist in inspiration, but the darting clarinet/glockenspiel figure doesn't. Scraping strings and electronic sound samples give the work an ambient feel, but careful listening reveals the subtle interplay between the voices. Lines influence each other in sort of a contrarian counterpoint, tying together what at first blush appears random.
Daniel Wohl has a unique compositional voice. Repeated listening helped me appreciate the artistry of that voice. Corps Exquis may sometimes evoke strange, dreamlike images, but there's purpose behind those fever dreams.