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Review: 'STOLZE, ALEX'
'Mankind Animal EP'   

-  Label: 'Nonostar Records'
-  Genre: 'Ambient' -  Release Date: 'March 2017'

Our Rating:
There are hints of folktronica glitch on this German musician's debut solo release but the warmth of these five tunes make him more like Patrick Wolf than Keiren Hebden.

His secret weapon is a custom made five-string electro-acoustic violin and his aim is to celebrate the instrument's classical-centred history while also seeking to "keep it alive and relevant to the modern world".

If this sounds overly ambitious, or even arrogant, he makes a self deprecating addendum by referring to himself as "a cave man in a high tech environment".

As a co-founder of a techno label in Berlin (Krakatau Records) and having collaborated with electro-popsters (Unmap and Bodi Bill) he is no traditionalist but no iconoclast either.

Eraser and Stringent are beautifully melodic instrumentals while the other three tracks showcase his gentle vocals in accent-less English.

The slow grooves and soulful ambience are pastoral in mood with lyrics which encourage inner reflection and mindfulness rather than advocating revolutionary gestures.

Accept yourself for who you are is the message of the opening track, Don't Try To Be, and both The Crown and the title track affirm mankind's capacity for change (even when falling short of our full potential).

The record lasts just 21 minutes but this is more than enough to present Alex Stolze as an impressive talent and hopefully this is just the beginning of a longer story.

Alex Stolze's website
  author: Martin Raybould

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STOLZE, ALEX - Mankind Animal EP