Throughout his productive career, Carl Oesterhelt has proven to be an artist who finds it easy to move between musical genres and concepts. Much of his work has been within classical and chamber music, but he has also scored museum exhibitions and he is sometimes part of The Notwist crew as an angular figure on the Munich scene.
In Umor Rex we have been lucky enough to publish an array of Oesterhelt's universes. In Eleven Pieces for Synthesizer (Umor Rex 2019) we heard his kosmische side, where the connections with Harmonia or Klaus Schulze were amalgamated with ecclesiastical organ pieces and intense semi-automatic rhythms. A deeply melodic, fresh album. Pure syntax of the modern synthesizer. Further, in The Aporias of Futurism (Umor Rex 2021), in collaboration with Andreas Gerth (Driftmachine, Tied & Tickled Trio), Oesterhelt showed what is perhaps his darkest side —a work full of nuances within concrete music and midnight atmospheres. As deep and cerebral an album as it is surprising and catatonic.
Yet it seems that Carl Oesterhelt has another ace up his sleeve. Now he surprises us with The Dualistic Principle, a fantastic album full of weird but charming electronic melodies, rhythms that push the body to movement, sometimes syncopated and abstract, others permanent and fluid. In this work, Oesterhelt invited Johan Simons to give voice to the lyrics. The Dualistic Principle is a sort of rendition of a philosophical review or a nostalgic memory of the glamorous years. There is also underlying humor in the Post / Space-pop / Munich-disc assortment. The Dualistic Principle is the score to an imaginary film of contemporary hedonism.
All music & lyrics by Carl Oesterhelt. Voice by Johan Simons. Additional strings played by the Ensemble für synkretische Musik. Recorded in Munich & Bochum, Germany. Mastered by John Tejada in Sherman Oaks, USA. Artwork by Daniel Castrejón in Mexico City.