F.S. Blumm – Up Up and Astray

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So…I’m truly amazed by this one. I’m so amazed, I’m just gonna hit the review and walk out, because there’s not much more to say.

The Review

F.S. Blumm, previously unknown to my extensive list of artists, apparently has released this marvellously stunning record after a six year hiatus. As I said in the review of “Range of Light” by S. Carey, details are everything when you’re thoroughly going to analyse a song. 
Blumm managed to make every single detail count and make its presence with an outstanding might and power. 
“Up Up and Astray” is a lovely demonstration of skill and talent, proving that creativity is not all lost yet. At times impossible to follow, but yet it keeps its beauty and sweetness intact. The arrangements are not to be missed, even if you try your best, they’ll all reach your heart somehow.

The opening song does not have to be utterly shocking and loud to provoke an attraction, and “Goldbein” is living proof that tenderness can still be attractive. “Astball” and “Beinah Mai” follow their predecessor’s steps, abusing the lovely bells and soft distress in our ears.
It’s “Rieselgut” that marks a change of pace, stepping down for the sweetness pedestal and approaching the true beauty of Blumm’s music. “Vor Buchsen” can also be highlighted as a game changer. Even though the pace changes are sudden, they do not feel like forced cuts to prevent an excess of happiness from an album that’s far from that feeling.

“When You’re Gone” finally shows the intimacy you’ve been expecting, the soft voice Blumm includes as mostly an arrangement, not a dominant track inside the song. His tone reminds me a little of Owen Ashworth (Casiotone For The Painfully Alone and Advance Base), but without the obvious cynicism and faint courageousness. 
By “Tonne Takt”, we’ve barely hit the first the half. The unnoticeable cuts and tense chord progressions do not fully make it the interlude I was prepared for. And again, the unceasing arrangements crowd the track all over. “Speed of Time” is smoothly accompanied by a female voice, which in my opinion was the best possible choice he could’ve made to avoid provoking tense spots. 
“Pull The Plug”, “Flug Vorbei” and “Zwischen Zwei” come back as ghosts of the first tracks, with certain callousness and lack of warmth.

The remaining 5 tracks are all effectively unsettling if compared to the previous 13 songs. More experimental and abusive of external noises, but also evidencing the geniality of Blumm’s structural guitar lines, letting him arrange his music in so many different ways. “Kyoto” comes a bit too late, slowing down the pace that should’ve occurred 7-8 songs before.
And “Büchsen”, the final tune, dims the lights in a soft turning of events. Feels like going back in time, even if it’s just 50 minutes.

The Verdict

F.S. Blumm has earned a notorious spot on my to-do list. I’m really looking forward to expanding my music library with all his previous work. “Up Up and Astray” is and will always be an effective album. Expels a driving feeling of motion and rhythm that most albums can’t, which makes it very special to me. I hope you all listen to it and feel the same way. 

Final Score
95%
Special…very special

Signing off,
P. Everett

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