‘Mankind Animal’ by Alex Stolze (EP)

10 April, 2017 in Music Reviews

Alex Stolze

Alex Stolze: combining his many influences to create a surprisingly accessible sound of his own

The debut EP from this German violinist finds him curbing his wildest tendencies and settling on a more accessible sound

Alex Stolze 'Mankind Animal' EP coverThis five-track EP is the debut solo record from German violinist, composer and producer Alex Stolze and it finds him combining his many influences to create a surprisingly accessible sound of his own. Having worked with electronica acts Bodi Bill and Unmap, been part of the experimental avant jazz trio Dictaphone and co-founded the Berlin techno label Krakatau Records, his skills are vast and varied, yet this debut finds him channelling his musical explorations in a way that will please more mainstream ears.

Stolze’s sparse plucked violin is interspersed with yelping vocals on Don’t Try To Be. As the song progresses, the more electronic nature of his playing cuts through. The instrumental Eraser has an increasingly eerie feel to it as the string note become drawn out and modulating. The Crown leads onto the title track on which Stolze’s near-spoken voice talks of surviving long winters over a trippy beat, it’s a fittingly cold combination.

Though Stolze has now retreated to the German/Poland border, the lingering influence of Berlin bleeds through slightly more with Stringent. Marc Weiser provides kitchen-sink percussion and Ofrin adds backing vocals as a city beat blends with a more electro-sounding violin. Both original and appealing, Alex Stolze has found a glorious middle-ground for his precocious talent.

Verdict: A startling hybrid of Stolze’s differing worlds

Duncan Haskell