Roughly a year on from Catch Up with What Party +, Nein Rodere returns to Horn of Plenty with Form & Feeling, the project’s third outing with the label and first LP of all new material: an immersion into meticulously montaged, irreverent lo-fi song writing, incorporating elements of sampling and musique concrete.
Nein Rodere is the moniker of the Berlin-based music maker and visual artist David Roeder. Having played in bands for more than 20 years - often times making improvised music with other “non-musicians” - Roeder was trained in painting and psychodynamic art therapy. This multifaceted background underpins the complex humour and multiple dimensions of meaning (and double meaning) that bubble below his work. The body of solo efforts that has slowly emerged over the last five years brings to mind the collage-style efforts of Letha Rodman-Melchior, Dean Blunt or Jim Shepard as much as the conceptual excursions into sound forged by visual artists like Anton Heyboer, Henning Christiansen and Jean Dubuffet.
Comprising fifteen “songs” of varied length, Form & Feeling’s title is a riff on the philosopher Susanne Langer’s book Feeling and Form, which interrogates the influences of art on the mind. Deeply influential on his own practice, Roeder explains “In a very simplified way, it's [about] how the unique "form" of an art-piece (of any medium) is supposed to have this quality of "feeling", which means it creates an emotional experience that lies outside of the realm of what can be expressed by factual language or science. Form operates within a symbolic logic of making presentable the structure of inner life - not just one's own but also in a general way."
Faced with the arching potential of symbolic reading and like all of the work created under Nein Rodere, there is a sharp counterpoint between immediate aesthetic impressions - foregrounding happenstance and transience - and the depth of the content, expression and experience that lays at the collective core of Form & Feeling’s fifteen compositions. Each piece is drawing on a clear sense of intentionality, narrative, and responsiveness, accumulating the layered residues of Roeder’s constant process of searching and reworking, in his quest to uncover the off kilter equilibrium of their form.
Falling somewhere between works of conceptual sound art and wild experiments in bedroom songwriting - internalising an inexplicable mix of Leonard Cohen, The Velvet Underground, Don Cherry's Organic Music, post-boarding school Earl Sweatshirt, Maher Shalal Hash Baz, Terry Riley et al - as Form & Feeling unfolds, fragments of highly individualised narratives are processed through the lens of psychoanalysis, social anxiety, and mundanity of everyday encounter, cumulating as a trip into the inner workings of a singular creative mind. All this time the lyrical focus oscillates between quotidian detail and almost generalising statements, emphasizing specificity in vagueness and vice versa.
Across its two sides - displaying remarkable versatility and cohesion with the diversity of their approaches - the jangle of unconventionally plucked strings, durational tones, percussive rattles, warped melodies, untraceable samples etc play against the dry delivery of Roeder’s deeply personal poetic sensibility. As such they are saturated with a sense of mood by the ominously present voids of space and further revealed by the raw and exposed means by which they were pointedly laid to tape.
released March 3, 2023
Recorded by David Roeder between May 2021 and May 2022.