Oscar Rohleder

  • Music
  • Photography
  • Design
  • Vaagner
  • Vaknar
  • A Sunken Mall
  • Event Series
  • Ongoing Series
  • Architectural Studies
  • Travel Studies
  • Comissioned
  • Digital Collage Works
  • Posters
  • Projects
      ASM01 – 05
      ASM01 | J. Carter - Rejoice!

      The story of the Southerner who leaves the South will forever carry with it a certain poetic solemnity, as though the mystic doom of Faulkner, and his Yoknapatawpha County, follows them elsewhere, follows them everywhere. The cruelty of the Countryʼs history is embedded in their every move, their every utterance, their voice itself. One need only to sit with Rejoice!, the new album from Brooklyn-by-way-of-Nashville artist Jeremiah Carter, once, to comprehend the significance of such antiquities and their reflections both on self and world alike.

      The cinematic samples of stringed instruments on the opening Title Track, along with a great deal of the A-Side, paints a thousand overlapping landscapes, of plains, of prairies, of mountains. They clash at times, in prickling discord, like dragonflies disturbed in their hovering atop endless fields of cattails. But, at others, they mingle with Carterʼs gorgeous, lush synthesizers, graciously oozing a fullness both enriching and wholly melancholy. These tracks are simultaneously irksome and soothing, the A-Side echoing holograms of a similarly sad theme throughout—taking its time with us, for the benefit of our own self-reflection. The incorporation of the spoken word of Roberto Bolañoʼs “43. Like A Waltz,” on the track of the same name, humbly nods to timeless and scenic summers, or not summers—a beautiful forgetmenot.

      Static and droning highs overtake the air on Side B, like a rainforest mist, the synths returning as sunbeams through the treetops. It becomes all the more warming and loving than its preamble. The glowing tones of “Perfectly Red Ochre,” and “Abandonment Veil,” beckon us away form the previous perils of dissonance. They hover like the haze after a much needed rainfall, as if to say, “See? this land is not doomed.” Organic instrumentation interrupts the drones on this Side—solitary acoustic guitar on “Over Your Cities,” and piano on closing track, “Silence Belongs To Us.” Itʼs Carterʼs reminder that a human voice lay behind all this, that someone is playing these instruments, composing these epics. By its end, Rejoice! has done what historians will forever aim, yet consistently fail, to do—it captures the soul of a land. It channels Carterʼs voyage from Southern States to Northern, with the conflicts of his past, and the landʼs, trailing behind him like a cape. He wears these sounds, and he wears them beautifully.

      -JP Basileo 

      ASM02 | Perila - 7/37/2.11

      Artworks inspired by lockdowns, social distancing and other consequences of the pandemic have been trickling out for the past year and a half. Despite the early zeitgeist jubilantly calling for collective experiences, each of them only further cemented the opposite - just how differenttly all of us were affected by the unfolding events. Some musicians shaped their music into shallow, one-way confessionals or sonified pep talks. Others, like Alexandra Zakhareno aka Perila, transformed their visceral experiences into spaces of coping and empathy.

      The Russian-born, Berlin based musician's take on ambient has always been defined by a diaristic, borderless sense of intimacy and overwhelming emotion. Yet the six miniatures recorded and released gradually on Bandcamp during quarantine and now compiled on 7.37/2.11 manage to bridge us even deeper into her personal space. On the opening 'Long Dizzying Air Through A Balcony Door', a pillow of murmurs, shimmering snyth pads and glimpses of field recording shuffles around shadows, caressing and embracing Zakharenko's voice. "Spring air brings comforting nostalgia", she sighs, tired. The cut's undulating texture breathes in and out with her, creating a suggestive state of warmth and making us observers and participants in her daily routine.

      Simultaneously, the sense of unease that emanates from this and all other tracks is inescapable, even as 'Amorphous Absorption' and 'Haven't Left Home 4 4 Days' enjoy moments of brightness in hissy patterns of tone, flickers of careless humming and comforting sounds akin to gently chiming steel pans. '" was driving a car", Zakharenko whispers through 'This Story Doesn't Make Sense' while pulsing beats and faint bleeps refract around the lines. "I wasn't driving really. It was just my dream", she replies to herself before falling into the feathery lull of a rustling piano ostinato on 'Crash Sedative'.

      -Antonio Poscic, The Wire

      ASM03 | Ekin Fill - Feelings

      The experience of listening to Ekin Fil’s stunning new album, Feelings, is like the momentary blindness experienced leaving someplace dark and walking out into the daylight. Everything goes white; a pensive stillness takes over, time becomes momentarily infinite. Feelings is stuck there, rife with anxiety and longing, but also grounded with a stoic determination to not shield our eyes from the blaze.

      Ekin Fil has been making beautiful, haunting albums for over a decade now, but the quiet intensity of Feelings is overwhelming. Rain drenches lolling piano chords on the sinuous reflections of “Infinite Space.” Ekin Fil’s voice sits in a spherical chamber circumventing the creeping glow. Clouds obscure the sun, but just barely; echoes escape into the sky and disappear. “Never Seen” treads similar waters, but from the other side. Somber passages begin sinking toward the core, the vocals like a sodden net dragging everything toward the abyss. This push/pull sentiment slinks throughout Feelings.

      Throughout Feelings, Ekin Fil’s piano playing is the guidepost. It’s the backbone on pieces like “Little One” and “A Veil,” creating structures that she layers with gauzy ephemera. The languid float of synth flares and vocals encases the firm edges with a steely resolve. “Signals” repeats in slow circles permeated with a winter chill, tiptoeing across the awakening landscape. As her voice flickers over an ocean of stars across a dark blue backdrop, the nightblooms open and sing.

      Feelings is a strange, enchanting environment. We’ve all visited places that were unforgettable, even if we never wanted to return or see them again. Constructed in the shattering mire of 2020, Feelings is in that zone, but hearing it head on and dissecting the arcane messages woven throughout are the surest ways out of the fire.

      Brad Rose, Foxy Digitalis

      ASM04 | J. Carter - Speak, You Also

      When we can no longer move forward or look outward, some reflect and seek truth in themselves – some sharing, through the language of music, what might be impossible to say through words.

      Amidst the budding tempest of 2020, Jeremiah Carter, originally hailing from Tennessee, found himself embroiled in a near suffocating air of uncertainty and anxious tension, mainly brought upon by the first spikes in a soon to be world-wide pandemic.

      Only having recently relocated to the bustling city of New York, an unprecedented series of events took shape over the following months, isolating and alarming the city's residents in the process. It was during this time that Jeremiah fully turned his attention to music, discharging the emotional turmoil surrounding him, into newly composed work.

      Beginning with the album ‘Rejoice’, which was completed in the wake of 2020 and released on A Sunken Mall that same year, two more albums took shape in a quasi-self-induced creative tremor that materializing a wealth of work and formed a triptych of three unique albums, all produced within the span of only 6 months.

      Finally, presented here is the second part of the triptych; ‘Speak, You Also’, dedicated to Paul Celan and giving further insight into the heart of a beloved southerner, tangled in the mesh of existence, crisis and communication, far away from the prairies he once called home.