Release Information 1995

QNTAL (Early Works): Qntal II

Studio-Album

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A small list of reviews..

Image Hifi 1996

Michael Popp and Ernst Horn on enormously inventively used keyboards and ancient fiddle and the singer Sigrid Hausen lend medieval texts from Carmina Burana, Hildegard von Bingen or Walther von der Vogelweide a new sound shape that has nothing of the acutely tasted 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 in the gay scene that succeeds in stimulating pointed ideas about what the spiritual turning point of the Middle Ages could tell us today. And with goosebumps.

Visions 1996:

“Gangmember” (points to his necklace pendant in the shape of a sub-machine gun): “This is the symbol that I am always ready. It’s a Mac-10 Uzi commodity.” Even Qntal’s first work was a cross-border work like no other. “II” spans the spectrum from medieval chants, incantations of spirits, dances and songs about war to the exploding present: lyrics, excerpts from “Carmina Burana” and quotations from the L.A.-Riots of 1992 are combined into a textual concept about epochal violence. Musically, Sigrid Hausen’s delicate soprano combines with the compositions developed by Michael Popp and Ernst Horn (Deine Lakaien). However, although subordinate to them, these are by no means limited to purely classical arrangements, but form a delicate silk alloy from heavy trip hop and intelligent dance rhythms, spherical sound structures and occasional industrial influences. “Teenager” from Los Angeles, 1992: “Things will never change.” A sentence worth thinking about.

Notes

We were curious to see what Qntal will be able to present as a second album after the great first album with the Ad Mortem festinamus overpiece and whether they can maintain the high standard. And: They not only keep the standard, they even surpass it! Qntal II sets new standards when it comes to dealing with medieval music. I have never heard such exciting arrangements of old songs or traditional lyrics from anyone before, my word: there is no better way to do it. Whether they take on the Palestine song of Walther von der Vogelweide and put a hip hop beat under Sigrid Hausen’s classically trained voice and Michael Popps and Ernst Horn’s fascinating electronics, whether in the most beautiful (and danceable) piece of spring from Carmina Burana they dissolve driving EBM beats into church organ-like harmonies, whether they now make sound experiments, concentrate on reduced rhythms, record speech samples, process fantastically melancholic songs (Herbst by Konrad von Würzburg from the 13th century). 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. Horn and Popp do what they have to do (and can do better than anyone else in the world): they design sound paintings, sometimes minimalistic black and white, sometimes almost orgiastic in the abundance of colours that make the mood of those old texts audible. Qntal also make a bow on this album and last but not least into the present time, how it behaves with it, everyone should find that out for himself, we can’t betray everything here now.


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