- No one could accuse Vermont's 2014 self-titled album of unseemly haste. Slow and almost tentative, that record was the result of a series of "loose jam sessions" by two artists better known for their house productions: Innervisions mainstay Marcus Worgull and Danilo Plessow, AKA Motor City Drum Ensemble. On their second album, they seem in no hurry to change that approach. If anything, II is even more relaxed than its predecessor. Whereas Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit—who passed away last month—contributed percussion to Vermont, giving tracks like "Macchina" a slight push, only the barest semblance of a beat emerges on "Ufer" and other cuts on II.
Liebezeit's presence anchored Vermont in the German krautrock tradition. II drifts further into ambient. The languid guitar on "Norderney" evokes summer days on the German holiday island retreat it's named after. The travelogue continues with "Chanang," where Vermont summon serene panoramas through gentle chimes and synths that spiral like gusts of wind. The gossamer strings provided by Dermot O'Mahony and Tadhg Murphy on "Dschuna" and "Wenik" add a touch of classical to the synths' ebb and flow.
They’re subtle shifts, which is what Vermont’s music is all about. Tracks like "Demut" and "Hallo Von Der Anderen Seite" are as much about the spaces between the sounds as the sounds themselves. Notes shimmer on "Ki-Bou" with prismatic effect, illuminating slightly different angles every time. Vermont also convey, through the foreboding drones and rumbles of "Chemtrails" and "Skorbut," darker currents beneath the music's placid surface. These sort of details are easily missed if you don't give II the time and space it deserves. Approach the album with the same unhurried attitude as its creators, though, and you'll find moments to savour.
06. Hallo Von Der Anderen Seite