After his last year's sold out debute the excellent German pianist will return to Budapest with his new album. At this special concert Martin will be placed in the center of the hall surrounded by his audience while the Kiégő Izzók will provide unusual visuals on special surfaces around in the space.
The native thuringian became renown above all for the energy and the unpredictability of his concerts. After two albums featuring just himself and the piano he dropped the deeply ingrained patterns and connections to the instrument alone and developed a new naturalness of playing electronic instruments and effects just as if they were another couple of keys on the keyboard. »Strom« is Kohlstedt's third studio album and in this a synopsis of this development as well as a glimpse into the future: Before he comes in contact with the audience he does so with himself, no acting or pretending. Sound and structure thereof stand back behind the wish to reach faraway places through the music. By listening closely you follow him – and his hands that do all the work, meticulously and maniacally – and yet you are thrown back on yourself, just like at his concerts. In the end that‘s all that is needed to be known about Martin Kohlstedt.
When Martin Kohlstedt starts his next big tour this fall he will not only have his highly anticipated new album »Strom« packed and ready. »New« is a dated concept for him anyway — especially in the concert hall his music loses any notions and implications of trend to solely exist in an electrifying and continuous »now«. Improvisation and the joy of the experiment are for fans well known foundations of Martin Kohlstedt's so-called »modular compositions«. The forthcoming pieces will fortunately change nothing in this aspect apart from adding new and untried stones to the path waiting to be paved. Sounds like quite a lot of work? It is. Between frantic passages on the piano and wrenching synthesizer chords Martin Kohlstedt does not simply perform pop dressed up as jazz or classical music but, in an effort as exerting for the audience as for himself, presents taxing rituals of contemplation, of ecstasy or even failure. Still, catchy melodies and a passion for the beauty of simplicity are not absent — he does after all rather follow his gut than his head. One thing is certain, though: Martin Kohlstedt's baggage is already quite heavy.
The single piano notes float like shimmering particles in turbid water. They dance a little, jump from here to there in small turbulences. It's an elusive idyll, the current inevitably carries them towards the next rapids. Cascading through fractures and climaxes – the imminent chaos will rip apart the sounds, subdue their structure and rearrange them in new form. In this ecstasy the single tone disappears and becomes meaningless. But no maelstrom is permanent; when things calmed down thereafter every little sound is strangely charged with the power of having moved the very land itself.
Martin Kohlstedt's opus »Strom« is a stream of ruthless moments exposing the piano to the elements. Amid the flow of the nine pieces the composer himself slowly dissipates and enables the experience of music in its most primal dynamic. One witnesses the transformation of closeness and intimacy into vastness and force and that there is beauty to be found in everything – especially in the ephemeral. Consequently »Strom« brings forth manifold forms of itself, appearing hazy and perilous, in the next instant direct, almost playful to ultimately appear awestruck in the face of its own gravity. No distinct answers have been thought of, no measures taken, no interpretation preconceived for »Strom«. Instead you could get the feeling that Martin Kohlstedt, with this record, erected a monument in honor of intuition itself – even though immutable monuments are not his speciality, quite the contrary.