Take your time to listen to Ralph Heidel’s "Relief EP". It has magic moments. If you like the music of Bon Iver, Portico Quartett, Floating Points, Jon Hassell, Ryuichi Sakamoto Heidel’s music could appeal.
Ralph Heidel is one of the young musicians that represent the spirit of Berlin’s new musical eclecticism better than others. He is part of the avant-garde circles that mix modern jazz and contemporary classical music with elements of new electronica and experimental ambient music. This is the vibe of Germany’s next generation.
Heidel creates a sonic universe that is unique. He takes the listener into a deep, atmospheric travel that stimulates emotions and feelings on a different level. Heidel brings together two worlds: what he learned at Musikhochschule München, Germany’s leading academy for classical music where he studied saxophone and composition and the moods happening in Germany’s new electronic circles.
On „Relief“ Heidel created six songs. Except one, all of them are instrumental music. Partly composed and often improvised these sounds take the listener into Heidel’s specific sonic universe. Raw beat structures, emotive horn lines, strong harmonical tensions and dramatic buildups. Heidel’s signature sound. In fact Heidel is a multiple influenced artist with a strong personality that absorbs what’s around him, connects it with his own wide artistic knowledge and fulfills it into magical musical moments.
After a (very composed) debut album for string quartet and rhythm section for Kryptox (Moments of Resonance 2019), it was important for Heidel, to process current feelings of daily life. Not just his cultural learnings, but also emotions connected to the hard Covid times and a lot of personal experiences.
“Relief” are six abstract, distorted patterns. Long deep transitions that lead into euphoric parts of sonic greatness. Heidel’s sense for sound design and the soft tone of his saxophone phrases, add a personal note that is somehow alone in the current music scenario. Sampling his saxophone (reeds, keys etc.) to create very organic beats is one of the many techniques to create that special „Heidel“ sound. Also, his calm and wide harmonies over disquiet, rough drums are part of his unique ambivalent, disrupted moods.
Most of this EP has been played by Heidel alone. For a few parts he was joined by musicians from the local scene. In fact besides his albums on Kryptox Ralph Heidel is very connected in Berlin’s current cultural playground: He creates music for underground performance art happenings in Neukölln as well as for new German theater (Volksbühne, Berliner Ensemble). Also, German rapper Tarek from K.I.Z heard about Heidels string debut album, so they collaborated for an album, where Heidel reworked his record for string quartet, piano, drums and bass.