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about FLINK (2016)

22.XII.2017 – (How a simple recommendation turned into a complete and personal review)
One of the top albums this year you may never hear about […] The Berlin duo has been going for ten years and sound like a tight and well matched team. The compositions on this 2LP are long and multi-layered affairs, with sounds shifting effortlessly between electro-acoustic manipulations, vocal drones, minimal electronics and more leftfield pop-rock tunes. All of this going back and forth within the same track… While the source and manipulations of the sounds (strings, percussion, DIY electronics) are often easily discernible it is the effective use of these simple means that renders the album so fascinating. But the duo’s sound is equally carried by the voice of Lippstueck. On the label’s promo page he’s called a “natural vocal synthesizer” and whatever that means, his voice is a crucial element in the mix. It hums, recites, sings, screeches and goes off on weird tangents but in a way that it is part of the composition; not as a separate layer in the mix but as a fibre woven in the core of a structure. The combination of these elements and their effect creates a wistful and melancholy mood that is like an imaginary soundtrack to a road trip through a De Chirico landscape. Sound references are touched and left behind… at various times I’m reminded of Can, Brecht and Weill’s Threepenny Opera, early Neubauten (more for the mood than Blixa’s voice), Die Tödliche Doris, To Rococo Rot and maybe most of all; Kurt Schwitters. The references are mine and do not make this album any less brilliant. It strikes me, however, that these are all of German origin, which makes me think of this album as essentially Berlinesque; that particular ability to build on avant gardes past and future, armed with only a box full of scrap instruments and a voice… In light of that tradition, to come up with something superb as Flink is exceptional and truly unique …
Kristof D’Haeseleer (a tape-loving fan review)


There are eclectic, shaman craziness growing into mystical ecstasy on this 2xLP. Hypnotic chants, whisperings, screams soaked into lot of filters and electronica. Under virtuoso guitar rhythms. It’s a really magical musical realism nurtured in the Insomnia cradle.
Krossfingers – Nov. 2016

“… in those days they were accompanied by a sort of humming noise, not articulate, but musical, exciting, which changed the value of the words themselves. Could one set that humming noise to words? Perhaps with the help of the poets one could.” – Virginia Woolf – A Room of One’s Own (1929). Maybe this paragraph from this uniquely skilled user of words (that is Virginia Woolf, of course) could sum up rather well, (or at least try to outline) the mental and philosophical framework of this record. Air Cushion Finish is the articulated musical effort of jayrope and Lippstueck, two of Berlin’s experimental scene outposts since the 90’s. Lippstueck is in charge of the vocals, sometimes eerie (a bit Deux Fille-ish), at times incorporating the absurd playfulness of Dada (in “You and I”), but almost always impregnated with melancholia. I couldn’t help but not notice the abundance of vocal gestures, embodying those of Demetrio Stratos in “Cantare la voce” in some instances, especially on “Haarscheinrüssler”. On “Lyrebird”, some nuanced Meredith Monk utterances can be slightly grasped. The percussion paraphernalia does convey a sense of assumed juvenility, as we find out from the promo, jayrope dwells in DIY ventures and he manufactures his own instruments, apparently small (and endearingly) enough to fit in a suitcase. If you have a slice of your time, give it a listen, a provocation to not take yourself too seriously.
The Attic – Jan. 2017

Offering something akin to inserting a tape head in your nasal cavity and running a spool across it and thru your ears, Air Cushion Finish’s Flink is a marvellously trippy, poetic session of jayrope’s small sound collage composition and impressionistic, wordless singing from “natural vocal synthesiser”, Lippstueck. Formed in Berlin 2007, the pairing have previously issued a pair of albums thru hamburg house of weird, Hafenschlamm Rekords, and, at the behest of GY!BE, they recorded this, their 4th album with Thierry Amar at Montreal’s renowned Hotel2Tango studio in 2014. Flink was the result of those sessions, an immersively psychedelic (sweet, rather than head-frying) world unto themselves, sensitively placing Lippstueck’s flighty vox – which range from Schwitters-esque gibber to avian and ecclesiastical runs – drifting around the centre of a sound sphere pieced together from intricately laced rhythmic mechanisms, reverberant dub basses and insectoid blues. There’s no way we’re going to sum it up in words, but for reference it’s worth considering next to the output of My Cat Is An Alien, Eli Keszler or Sculpture.
Boomkat

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About (Live in) Biesenthal (2017/2011)

Loveliness exists and it is this record. Procured from a live session out to the north of Berlin (because things do indeed happen outside of city parameters), these tracks offer up a collaboration between underrated hero Lichens (known, as Robert Lowe, for his modular experiments, vocal drones and the occasional foray into some semblance of dance music) and Air Cushion Finish, players from Berlin who’ve released a kindly handful of abstract musical blueprints. ‘Biesenthal’ is just the sound of people who like ambient music hanging out. I permit you to float.

A mixture of watery guitar strums, nasal vocal expressions and processed ambience best describes this record, which occasionally ups the ante of its ever-flowing sound through sustained harmonies and stray basslines. It’s weird both how absent-minded and precise they sound, as if they can forget anything but bliss exists for ten minutes and then know the exact moment their music should wake up on. The transitions are superb and jolting: the bassline and plucked guitar that rolls into “Licking It” sounds like something out of a rock song, living life anew in this strange territory.

It’s rhapsodic music. It feels nice to listen to but demands its weirdness be put into the forefront, its indecipherable vocal chants, whispers and howls moving between the tones and pulses like thoughts in your head that never quite coalesce. There’s something strangely nice about it all. Don’t ask me for any further details, please: I’ve gone metaphysical.

Robin/Normanrecords 8/10

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other

MAGS
Air Cush­ion Fin­ish, Spree. This was the first set of the first night I attended at Suoni per il Popolo in Mon­treal this past June, and it has been haunt­ing me ever since. Two musi­cians mak­ing a dream-like flow of musi­cal and lyri­cal ideas, and dream-like is the right word: there are pre­con­ceived islands, and the music drifts in free-form man­ner among them. Beau­ti­ful, involv­ing and truly uncanny, this album is also refresh­ingly close to expe­ri­enc­ing the band live.
Big City Blog NYC / Best Pop albums 2014

Intuitively, my favorite music is that which I can’t define by genre.
The Brooklyn Rail / George Grella

BLOGS
I see bright visuals, like kaleidoscopic ornaments moving slowly. My chest opens up and starts vibrating to the experimental sounds accompanied by birds chirp. People hit me time to time, saying :”Excuse me, I am so sorry”… The audience feels selected, lots of visitors from other countries… It feels like tonight here are the ones who are truly dedicated.
AvantHard about supporting GY!BE on Nov 9 2012 at SO36, Berlin –

I am still under the spell of the trance they induced- Jayrope’s hypnotic beats and Lippstueck’s soft, reassuring voice are sampled and layered, adding random instruments (last time a small flute and some kitchen utensils were spotted) building polyrhythms that create familiar, irremediably tribal and soothing sounds infused with humour.
Who thought this was so deliciously possible?
Only in Berlin / Maia Beyrouti

LIVE
in Praha, Lucerna Bar, supporting GYBE! 2012
“Ukázalo se, že šlo o (stejně jako zástup před pódiem) godspeedí fanoušky, Air Cushion Finish z Berlína, těžký mix postfolku s ambientem, co se nebojí experimentů s vokály a jejich syntézou. Trojice německých hudebníků začala rychlou uvítací řečí, jak neskutečně rádi hrají před svou oblíbenou kapelou. Společně potom na stísněném prostoru postavili jediný song, kterému vévodil křišťálově čistý vokál s volbou přírodně laděného ambientu, který stoupal a padal jako říčky a vodopády. Šlo spíše o šepot pod lampiony na rybářském prutu, který se přelil ve výpověď nálad společných pro obě kapely, podaných ale zcela odlišným způsobem. Jestli mělo být sympatické sousední trio oblačným větrem s občasnými srážkami, pak z Kanady přiletěl planetární uragán.” musicserver.cz