Einstellung will be familiar to avid music fans in Birmingham, having released their debut single on local label Bearos. They were ably supported here by composer Rich Batsford who combined circling piano melodies and patterns reminiscent of Steve Reich.
Each piece brimmed with an inherent sense of poignancy, and there even seemed to be a hint of post-rock in the repeated structures. With most of the material drawn from his album Valentine Court, Batsford created a spectral ambience which made him stand out from other composers. Utterly spell-binding.
Wim Wenders’ film “Wings of Desire” is central to much of what Einstellung do. Not only is their name a reference to it, but their debut album is also named after it, and the film was projected behind the band at this gig, which marked something of a departure for them. Rather than their usual brand of ‘kosmische musik”, here they were joined by a trio of violinists for an exercise in gently building atmospherics, aided on piano by Rich Batsford.
All dressed in black, luckily the mood of the gig was less funereal than their attire suggested. The addition of strings seemed to suit the quartet’s reworked arrangements perfectly. Much like their usual incarnation, mellifluous guitar lines duelled and intertwined, although much more subdued than usual, nevertheless snaking between the rumbling bass while motorik rhythms (on this occasion played with brushes for the requisite subtle mood) provided the signature krautrock theme, even without the nominal searing guitars.
Like Neu! gone classical, there was a delicate feel to each of the five songs showcased here; baroque interpretations which suggest that they have more in common with other chamber-rock acts such as Rachel’s, Clogs and North Sea Radio Orchestra than we might previously have guessed, and it made for an oddly transcendent evening.”