Kassel Jaeger, Stephan Mathieu, and Akira Rabelais to release Zauberberg on Shelter Press

Kassel Jaeger, Stephan Mathieu, and Akira Rabelais to release Zauberberg on Shelter Press

Admittedly, I haven’t yet found the time (nor harnessed the will) to read Thomas Mann’s WWI-era novel Der Zauberberg (“The Magic Mountain,” in English), but apparently there’s enough of an impact in its 1000+ pages that at least one musician felt compelled to pay titular and compositional tribute to it. Gas a.k.a. Wolfgang Voigt essentially debuted his talent when he traversed the desolate wilderness back in 1997, and now Kassel Jaeger, Stephan Mathieu, and Akira Rabelais are seconding (third-ing, and fourth-ing) their appreciation with a collaborative Zauberberg, set for release on limited-edition vinyl February 22. Could it be that there are actual magic mountains, and that in contrast to hotels on magic mountains, they actually serve to inspire artists across the globe?

Perhaps accordingly, Jaeger, Mathieu, and Rabelais weren’t so much motivated by the extended narrative arc of Der Zauberberg as they were fascinated by the aura conveyed, which came in no small part due to the novel’s elevated setting in the Swiss Alps. A joint visit to that setting led to recordings of “ghosts who still wandered around,” which were ultimately combined with “acoustic/electronic instrumentation,” digital processing, and music featured in the novel to create something reminiscent and slightly apparitional.

I got a less haunting Caretaker vibe with this one. There are no yetis ready to pounce. Here’s the pre-order link.

Zauberberg tracklisting:

A. Zauberberg (part 1)
B. Zauberberg (part 2)

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