Melancholia. Longing. It is difficult to speak about these moods or states of the mind without invoking stereotypes. In ancient medicine, melancholia was considered to be one of the four temperaments, matching the four humours. In fact, melancholia, meaning “black bile” in Ancient Greek, was thought to be caused by an excess of this very body substance. By contrast, in more modern interpretations, literates and Freudians relate many variations of longing to the one primordial longing, the desire to return to one’s mother’s womb. In this context, the womb is considered to be the place of absolute comfort and cosiness, of total bliss. Thus it should not be surprising that to many of us melancholia is a mood which we like to invoke and to maintain, we like to envelop ourselves in it like in a warm blanket. Our brain and our sensory systems appear to be made for perceiving and emotionally responding to music in a very immediate fashion. Consequently music is the obvious drug for all of us melancholia-addicts. However, there is a thin line between melancholia and sadness, and music which is meant to be melancholic too often crosses this line by far. Only very few artists succeed in avoiding this crossing, and in creating music which is melancholia in its most pure form. It is safe to say that BERSARIN QUARTETT – the electronic music project of Thomas Bücker – is one of them.
After his successfull selftitled debut in 2008 and the sophomore “II” in 2012 – album of the month in many magazines and in numerous “Best of the year” lists – Bücker returns with his third BERSARIN QUARTETT album “III”, due for release 6.11.2015 on Denovali Records. Much like his two predecessors, III is a pure paradox. It is the creation of a perfectionist, an adamant control freak. Every element, be it a note, an ambience layer, a string arrangement, a field recording, a baseline, a vocal (Clara Hill on Track 11) or a beat, is meticulously modified and then assigned its place in Bücker’s vast but still minimalistic arrangements. Thus, superficially Bücker’s pieces seem to radiate a certain mechanical bleakness. However, there is a unique reduced warmth and liveliness emerging from these stainless compositions and transcending them. This transcendence is precisely the point where Bücker ironically looses control over his creations. In contrast to the first two BERSARIN QUARTETT albums, III offers a few darker shades and succeeds even further in narrowing down the arrangements to the absolute essentials without loosing the characteristic grandeur of Bücker’s sound. Whereas BERSARIN QUARTETT’s debut was merely a description of melancholia in its most pure form, III maybe even goes as far a defining what melancholia really is. It is the only emotion in the vast spectrum of human states of mind which one can bear forever.