örg Burger has flirted with many aliases before (The Modernist, Burger/Ink, Bionaut) but even after a decade of recording, he only seems to be hitting his prime now, recording ambient techno as Triola. No matter the guise, Burger productions are usually easy to identify by their prickly keyboards and heavy tech-dub atmospheres. Triola proves to be no exception, but the fact that it seemingly references all the best qualities of his past (the crunchy rhythms of the Modernist, the lushness of the Bionaut, the pop accessibility of Autobianchi) in one convenient package seems to elevate everything to the next level.
Previously confined to a single beat-less track on the past three Pop Ambient collections, as well as a spot on to Leichtes Hören's Teil 1 compilation, Im Fünftonraum allows Burger room to fully define the idea of Triola as sticky urban ambience with a touch of naiveté. Burger has arguably been heard best in concentrated listens, where there is less chance of the homogeneity that has slightly plagued his previous full-lengths. Im Fünftonraum’s strong conceptual unity plays up this idea of consolidation, with each track being tied to one another as part of a whole.
While most ambient albums would suggest a quiet night of staying at home, Im Fünftonraum plays out like a long, daydreaming journey through the city. There are a lot of strong images present on each individual track, but perhaps the most prominent ones that come to me are the scenes in the film Koyaanisqatsi where the crowded Manhattan streets are juxtaposed by slow-winding, minimal music. It’s an image that holds a rather personal significance to me, as I grew up walking the Manhattan streets in awe of the multitude that was all around me. Playing this album brings me back to that feeling, where I am but one person walking among a thousand, and thoughts are floating as fleetingly through my head as the masses around me. I can even retrace my steps as the album progresses: leaving the subway and heading onto the humid streets (“Leuchtturm”), coming across the pastures of Central Park (“Neuland”), feeling the claustrophobia of Times Square (“AG Penthouse [2. Epoche]”), falling into contemplation as I enter the artsy areas of Greenwich Village (the middle third of the album) and finally, a realization of a strange sort of ecstasy and satisfaction (“Ral 7035”). The latter track is punctuated by a spoken word section where a woman, totally in awe with herself and her words, starts rambling off how hard it is to pinpoint where those feelings inside us come from.
Needless to say, I’ve played this record like an addiction lately, recreating those scenes over and over again. Addiction doesn’t equate so much with brilliance than it does with dependence though. Even if those two notions are often intertwined as one, it’s hard to remove the personal impact of Im Fünftonraum for me and then slap it with a label that says “Brilliant! What’s next?” Still, the way Burger is able to create such a seamless and flowing conceptual record, one that reveals many layers of sound while still holding your attention should be reason enough for people to want to tune in and explore.