The 31 year-old German electronic and visual artist, Christian Löffler, has released his second full length album Mare. The title is most likely a reference to the dream succubus of German-Slavic folklore which parallels the dreamlike state this album exudes. This is Löffler’s first alternatively classified issue in an exploratory discography. We know Löffler has grounded himself as an intriguing electronic producer in his small stack of eps but has brought an innovation with him in this feature length project. In Mare, he has found the beauty of acoustic sampling to be his most dynamic friend in composition. His previous works inhibited themselves in some ways with dancehall extremes like vamping repetitiveness and emotionless instrument patches. Yet, Löffler has always manipulated motifs to have varying layers of sonic ideas come to fruition through each song. In Mare, we now have fleeting vocals and unique patches to try to grip onto. Löffer uses his talent to paint strokes across a collage of newly collected sonic curiosities that bring a romanticism to a modern genre. The album plays like the painting of an also-german, also-romantic Caspar Friedrich’s Wanderer Above the Sea Fog. The work is emotionally bittersweet; such is life. We reach great highs in Mare with songs like the inspirational “Swim” or the serene finisher “The Great White Open.” We also fall to somber emotions with sounds straight from the Mariana Trench in “Pacific” or a mystical abandoned factory in “Silk.” That said,  for the most part of the album we are given puzzles of emotive grey in-between these two extremes. These in-between tracks have song structure which collide rehashed vamps that develop new perspectives on stated motifs. The best example is in “Haul” which triangulates its intro to theme to outro with subtle changes in incorporation of the vocals. Löffler’s respect to dynamism and addition of Mohna on vocals in this project emits a holy choral essence. This adds to the associated spiritualism of the house genre. The album is entrancing like a sermon but enticing like the beauty of the natural world. Mare is a realistically simple album but so is the trend of traditional electronic and house. What stands out is the excellence in the detail and that’s what makes Mare worth listening to. It is a true alternative house album.

-Chris Tidwell