Very rarely do I hear an album that is both captivating and absolutely bewildering. However, In Leatherstockings is such an album. There seems to be no overall message, theme, or story. Rather, it is an incredible collection of tracks collaboratively created by two artists who push the label of experimental to its most extremes.
Released in early March on UK-based experimental label Steep Gloss, this album demonstrates the incredible possibilities of sampling when harnessed correctly. From the first track, I was instantly aware of what I was in for. Noisy oscillations and distorted, pitch-shifted squalling with an unnerving atmospheric background in the first track "DADA telegram from outer space" instantly jarred out me out of any kind of comfort zone that I could have started out in.
As the album continues, the bizarreness only increases as we are treated to all manner of strange and mangled sounds including the sounds of "Purring horses on a merry-go-round," both Parts 1 & 2, and the oddly repeating spoken German line of "Der große Wolf loop" as it is quickly accompanied by the equally mangled sounds of water dripping and footsteps on a hard floor.
As with the tracks mentioned above, most of the track titles are impressively descriptive. However, you also don't know quite what to expect from each track either as the sounds used are so mangled as to be just barely recognizable. But then there are tracks such as "Noise mining" and "The vomiting mic stand speaking in tongues" in which you're given some clue as to what is going on, but the reality of it will still escape you even after a close listen.
What Brandstifter and Arma Agharta have created here is both engaging and sometimes difficult to listen to. If you were looking for something relaxing and introspective, avoid this at all costs. This album will force you to listen to it once you have started. However, even after listening intently, you still probably won't completely understand what you just heard. And to me, that's just fine.