Review: Amnertia – Scheiner’s Observation


Here we have a collection of tracks originally recorded between 2004 and 2012. Some were fully assembled as early as 2007, while others have been pulled out of the archives and assembled only this year. Within these pieces, we have looped voices that re-tread the past onto the present; drumbeats whose 4/4 groove brings with it a jarringly divergent pace of passing; lo-fi synthesisers that patter out an 8-bit nostalgic conjuring. In other words, Scheiner’s Observation scrunches up time like a used napkin, unabashedly eclectic in its combinations of blown-out drum machines, poetry through vocal processors, guitar shards and eerie non-spaces, finding vitality in the friction between the acts of past and present selves.

If there’s a thread of continuity here, it’s the blurring of spontaneity and patient craft. The guitar loop on “Meat 5” includes a fretboard hiccup that becomes a sort of lopsided metronome, ticking above the swells of resonances like an ancient instrument that measures the tide. The drum machine that staggers across the final minute of “Void” – like someone entering a room by accident and then promptly making their excuses – is a bizarre and borderline humorous interjection amongst the clouds of synth and static. It’s hard to tell whether these details are the product of painstaking assembly or sudden whim. This, in itself, befits the chronological mangling of Scheiner’s Observation, in which the current moment and those previous could easily be mistaken for one another. Of course, all such distinctions collapse in the act of listening.