Init Ding





Microstoria is the duo of Markus Popp of Oval fame, nowadays a one-man band, and Jan St. Werner, one half of Mouse On Mars. As Microstoria, these gentlemen released three albums between 1995 and 2000, Init Ding being the first and most interesting one from a musical standpoint. If you like your Ambient music warm, friendly and analogue sounding, this release is definitely for you, as the duo's ear for comforting and yet defying strings culminates in Init Ding. The album was released right after Oval's similarly styled 94 Diskont in 1995 and Mouse on Mars's first album Vulvaland in 1994. Both groups created warm, dubby melodies back then, while after their first two releases up to their recent years, Mouse on Mars and Oval choose a more demanding varied style of electronic music over their Ambient pieces.


Init Ding, as I mentioned before, is so interesting from a musical standpoint due to the depth and multilayered synths that are always on the forefront and are aided by smooth, crackling noises and quick but beautiful dissonances. 16:9, possibly the best track on this release, starts things off with gorgeously melodic synth strings, high pitched droplets and sizzling statics. Every layer of the song works with its counterpart in a frictionless way and thus the song cannot be considered a dull Ambient outing by numbers at all, but in fact inherits a concealed, positive vibe that runs as a golden thread throughout the release. The relaxed mood of the track is picked up by the second track Slap Top that features a morphed guitar in a bath of yet again warm and bright strings that appear in shorter bursts. Clocking in at almost three minutes, track 5, Fund, is in similar shape and features a frisky, frosty melody in twirled, echoey surroundings of pink noise. Pokus adds a more mysterious tone to the release by adding staggering bass drums, rhythmical cracklings and reverberating strings that are accompanied by a quiet, vibraphone-esque melody. Communerism is the other standout on this release and features one of the deepest basslines ever heard in electronic music that do not harm or take over the whole track but rather cause a powerful, warm feeling in your home. At around 2:25 and 4:58 minutes, the theme of 16:9 is picked up for a short time but stays in the background. The main melody of Communerism remains timidly fragile and cold, and forms an absorbing contrast to the deep, vibrant bass line. Dokumint closes the album and foreshadows the coming route for Microstoria with a chirping melody, busy but quiet background strings and occasional bubbling sounds. This song feels almost jazzy.


Init Ding is a rewarding release for Ambient lovers who like their music warm and powerful and who yet want to concentrate on fragile undertones and vivid melodies in cozily quilted string-laden surroundings. Highly recommended and the ultimate album for fans of Oval's 94 Diskont and Mouse on Mars's Vulvaland, although Init Ding is tending more to Oval's album soundwise.




Ambient Review 002: Microstoria – Init Ding (1995). Originally published on Dec. 18, 2011 at AmbientExotica.com.