B. Fleischmann – Angst is not a Weltanschauung!
Most Likely To: find its way into a whimsical mixtape-romance.
When I stop to think of the different echelons of credibility, I always debate within my own head the question of who really rules the roost. The answer is never as sexy as it should be because the answer is never what you’d expect. It is rarely the doe-eyed minstrel, rarely the angular avant-garde, rarely the feigning prima donna with mandolin and garden-hushed voice. More often than not, top aesthetic billing, to me at least, goes to guys like B. Fleischmann. It is artists like these, oblivious to the panderings required by most performers, that spend a lifetime carefully building their own shells of inspiration in which to bury themselves. When they finally emerge, the product is often so inexplicably and subtly different from what our conditioned ears expect that it never is recognized for what it truly is.
B. Fleischmann, simply put, is out of touch in the best way possible. The man is a publicly employed musician, for one thing, with the greater bulk of his material apparently composed for the sake of paying the damn rent. As fundamentally difficult of an idea to grasp as this is for an American like me, it intrigues me to no end. What sort of conditions does a person like this live under? Imagine – the idea of being able to simply be paid to make music. Fleischmann rarely tours, chooses labels almost at will and now presents the public with Angst Is Not A Weltanschauung!, a perplexingly fresh offering that falls somewhere between Air and Crooked Fingers (of all the things!) but caters to neither crowd exclusively. I am interested by B. Fleischmann’s seemingly single-handed freedom as a person, a sentiment exaggerated by my interest in a record like this one.
Fleischmann is an inspired architect, to put it simply. His songs plant strange little seeds of ultra-clean samples and polished beats that grow into something more complex and organic than it has any right to be. Songs like the sprawling ‘Even Your Glasses Miss Your Eyes’ beep and boop their way into life quietly, growing increment by subtle increment until out of absolutely nowhere at all, the sparse skeleton outlined in the first few minutes of the song has revealed itself to be a lush valley. The most impressive aspect of all of this, however, remains the quiet way in which this is all accomplished. Fleischmann’s sense of orchestration and dynamic is truly a rare one. In fact, it works so well that the few collapses of this talent such as frivolous throw-offs like ‘The Market’ and ‘Playtime’ can’t even properly diminish the impact of the album’s better offerings.
This being said, there really is very little filler on a record like Angst. Over time, Fleischmann is likely to outdo this album just as this one has outdone much of his previous work. Until then I am content with what has been given us because I find myself ultimately content with Fleischmann himself. Again, he is a public artist, and any missteps along the way I forgive partly due to the way necessity must dictate, in some way, how Fleischmann actually works. But until the day that he finds himself without fault or flaw, Angst Is Not A Weltanschauung! will suffice nicely.
Listen to “24.12″ from B. Fleischmann: