GLEN 

discography  

Pull! 2021

Wilhelm Stegmeier – guitar, double bass, bass, piano, synthesizers, 

cimbalom, percussion, vocals 

Eleni Ampelakiotou – guitar, piano, percussion, vocals 

Maria Zastrow – bass 

Brendan Dougherty – drums, percussion 


Recorded by Þóroddur Ingvarsson and Wilhelm Stegmeier 

Mixed by MACK · Mastered by EROC at Eroc’s Mastering Ranch 

Produced by Wilhelm Stegmeier and Eleni Ampelakiotou for 

FALLING ELEVATORS 


Artwork by Michael Bulgrin · Cover photographs by Wilhelm Stegmeier · 

All other images public domain. 

Special thanks to Inga-Britt Wassmann, Michael Bulgrin and MACK. 


Vinyl released and distributed by SOUND EFFECT RECORDS · 

CD released and distributed by ANESTHETIZE PRODUCTIONS. 

© & 2021 FALLING ELEVATORS – All rights reserved. 

“All men live enveloped in whale-lines. All are born with halters round their necks; but it is only when caught in the swift, sudden turn of death, that mortals realize the silent, subtle, ever-present perils of life.”

                                                                                                  Herman Melville


While GLEN´s previous album CRACK “switched in and out of different moods with a sense of widescreen dynamics and penchant for extended narratives that were shaped by their cinematic endeavours”, their new album PULL! is even more consistent in their wandering through the glens of nearly unmarketable instrumental elegies rejecting despite their haunting melodies any assignment to traditional rock aesthetics, similar to the uncompromising deconstructing energy of the avant-rock movement citing “there are no waves, only the ocean”.

PULL! loom up to elegant mesmerizing structures of free improvisation, meditative minimalism and multidimensional layered soundscapes. Pursuing an abrasive reductionism GLEN merges disparate styles and contrasting textures to a unique sound of tempting narratives, vertiginous swelling dissonant chords, melodic patterns and abstract noise. 

PULL! was mixed by german producer legend MACK, who started his career in Giorgio Moroder´s Musicland Studios working with bands like Marc Bolan´s T. Rex, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, early Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Sparks, etc. and of course became famous as the producer of Queen. 

The playful sensibility of seductive melodies, driving rhythms and subtle electronics set the stage for purposeful ambiguity as the title of the album PULL!, the track Ahab and the artwork refer to Mocha Dick, a famed aggressive whale, first mentioned in 1839 in a story published in The Knickerbocker, New-York Monthly Magazine, which was likely an inspiration for Melville’s Moby Dick.


Mythical Characters like Ahab, unbearable endeavours like Korinth and the Rosebud like enigma of Davos are open to multiple interpretations, a Lecture on madness, bliss, obsession, greed and tragedy of mankind enveloped in an album cover that was shot in the abandoned offices of the Athen´s Stock Exchange. 


“Is it not curious, that so vast a being as the whale should see the world through so small an eye, and hear the thunder through an ear which is smaller than a hare's?(…) — Why then do you try to ‘enlarge’ your mind? Subtilize it”

Entirely instrumental, GLEN “subtilize” one´s mind by including a single surprising vocal track to the five track album PULL! of mystical serene beauty – an exceptional version of John Cale´s Buffalo Ballet.

„Berlin krautrockers GLEN have made an evolutionary leap from 2017’s CRACK. While that LP featured two long instrumentals and three vocal tracks, PULL! is all instrumental save for the physical only bonus track; and the quartet’s sound has grown far more intense. The loose theme involving seafaring, shipwrecks and waves, with appropriate art, only adds to the appeal.


As each track averages ten minutes, there’s plenty of room for these jams to unfurl. Most are built upon a central riff that plunges into various permutations, like adventures on the sea. Every return to the riff causes a rush of adrenaline, the thrill of recognizing a lover or friend. And man, does this album rock. One can imagine entering into a trance at the arena (and wouldn’t it be amazing to have such a concert on a weather-worn whaling ship?) The cover art may be a knot in the wood or the eye of a whale. As both of the main composers also work in film ~ one a filmmaker and the other a film composer ~ the cinematic connections are clear. An excellent use of the stereo field produces the feeling of being on deck, watching for dangers starboard and aft.


“Korinth” is swift and propulsive, conjuring images of a barker in the hull of a slave ship, yelling “PULL!” The ship is speeding through the waters, breaking through the waves. Even when the guitars reach a lull, the tempo continues unaltered. There is no slowing this mission, or this track. By “Ahab,” one feels the craze, the mania, the bloodlust. Even if the captain senses a shipwreck, the harpoons will be at the ready, the ship battling beast and sea. It matters not if this specific whale be Melville’s Moby Dick, The Knickerbocker‘s Mocha Dick, or a more contemporary mammal. But as the album is purposely freeform, one may extend the hunt to the realm of metaphor: to any runaway pursuit, from action to opinion, that resists reason in a headlong plunge to oblivion.


There is no time for reflection when one’s rope is connected to a breaching behemoth. But those who purchase a vinyl or CD copy will receive an alternate ending, a cover of John Cale’s “Buffalo Ballet.” This turns out to be an inspired idea, adding depth to the narrative. Thanks to this track, the rock becomes rock and roll, the ship returning to port, the bedraggled sailors finding their way to land. Here there be lyrics, but only in the second half, sleeping in the midday sun after so many months at sea. A relentless eye continues to watch from afar.“


                                                                                                                                                                                                       a closer listen (Richard Allen)

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