QNTAL (Early Works)
Qntal II

Release Information 1995
QNTAL (Early Works): Qntal II

Studio-Album

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A small list of reviews..

Image Hifi 1996

Lonely masters alone on a wide field: Michael Popp and Ernst Horn on enormously inventive keyboards and ancient fiddle and the singer Sigrid Hausen give medieval texts from Carmina Burana, Hildegard von Bingen or Walther von der Vogelweide a new sound form, which has nothing of the acutely tasteless medieval romanticism. The wonderful voice and old enchanting harmonies, the electronic sound collages and the dramaturgically inspiring, sometimes surprising handling of rhythm combine to extremely charming quiet and also short violent meditations into the sounds of different times and souls. Qntal is probably the only one of the scene that likes to wade in gayness to stimulate pointed ideas of what the spiritual turning point of the Middle Ages could tell us today.

Visions 1996:

„Gang member” (points to his necklace pendant in the shape of a machine pistol): “This is the symbol that I’m always ready. It’s a Mac-10 Uzi utility tool.” Even Qntal’s first work was a work that crossed borders like no other in its kind. “II” spans the arc from medieval chants, necromancy, dances and songs about war to the exploding present: poetry, excerpts from “Carmina Burana” and quotations from the 1992 L.A. Riots are linked to a lyrical concept of cross-epochal violence. Musically, Sigrid Hausen’s delicate soprano combines with compositions developed by Michael Popp and Ernst Horn (Deine Lakaien). Although subordinate to them, these are by no means limited to purely classical arrangements, but form a delicate silken alloy of heavy trip-hop and intelligent dance rhythms, spherical sound structures and occasional industrial influences. “Youth” from Los Angeles, 1992: ” Things will never change.” It’s a sentence worth thinking about.

Notes

We were curious to see what Qntal will present as a second after the grandiose firstling with the overpiece Ad Mortem festinamus and whether they will be able to maintain the high performance standard. And: They not only keep the standard, they even exceed it! Qntal II once again sets the standard for dealing with medieval music. I have never heard such exciting arrangements of old songs or traditional lyrics from anyone before, my word: You can’t do better. Whether they take the Palestine song by Walther von der Vogelweide and lay down a hip-hop beat under Sigrid Hausen’s classically trained voice and Michael Popp’s and Ernst Horn’s fascinating electronics, whether they dissolve in the most beautiful (and most danceable) piece Frühling aus der Carmina Burana forward-driving EBM beats into church-organ-like harmonies, whether they experiment with sound, concentrate on reduced rhythms, play in speech samples, process dreamily melancholic songs (Herbst by Konrad von Würzburg from the 13th century) or whether they use a new approach to the music. They always achieve the impossible: they combine the magic of our past with the fascination of today’s highly topical sound possibilities. Sigrid’s brilliant voice makes the Middle High German, Old French and Latin texts sound absolutely authentic, the Virgo splendens from the Codex Llibre Vermell of Hildegard von Bingen, for example, she sings almost overwhelmingly. Messrs Horn and Popp do what they have to do (and can do better than anyone else in the world): they create sound paintings, sometimes minimalistic black and white, sometimes almost orgiastic in the abundance of colours that make the mood of those old texts audible. On this album Qntal also and not least make a bow to the present time, how it is dealing with it, everybody should find that out for himself, we can’t reveal everything here.


Track list:
  • Introitus
  • Palästinalied
  • Frühling
  • Hymni Nocturnalis
  • Vos Attestor
  • Herbst
  • Abaelard
  • Virgo Splendens
  • Trobar Clus
  • Sine Nomine
  • Ab Vox d'Angel
  • Epilog