Forever pushing the boundaries of what is normal, German electro-indie duo Wooden Peak delivered a laid-back and mellow set as part of their European tour last night.
Presenting us with a tentative sound which fuses the alternative with the experimental, the Leipzig-based collective are veterans of the minimalist noise scene. After hearing snippets of their soon to be released record Yellow Walls, we arrived with high hopes.
Held in the intimate rooftop venue Klunkerkranich, the setting couldn’t have been more charming. If you’ve never set foot in this staple of Berliner culture, you’re missing out on a lot – with panoramic views over the artsy district of Neukölln, it’s a unique and enchanting place where you’ll discover something new each time you visit. It’s not too busy during the colder months, but if you wrap up warm you’re sure to stumble upon your new favourite artist.
Showcasing material from their extensive catalogue of works, Wooden Peak’s edgy and curious brand of straightforwardness resulted in a captivating set, illustrating their mature sound and captivating sonic exploration. Their lingering sound and raw and dusty vocal line created a beautifully complex soundscape, although in a different manner to their recorded works. Their set was still boundary-pushing and innovative, but approached in a slightly obscured way in comparison to their albums.
In terms of their setlist, the twosome seemed to allow this to develop organically, creating a gentle ebb and flow without restrictions. Whatever the thought process behind it, the tracks they shared with us truly highlighted them at their very best – they were somewhat erratic whilst still being cohesive, and ever-so-slightly theatrical without being at all overbearing. There’s an impressive unity between the two characters, and it’s a combination which clearly works. Their playing was incredibly tight, and this reviewer was thoroughly impressed.
Channelling an intriguingly calm energy, Wooden Peak bulldozed through a slick set with an remarkable technical prowess – the treasure trove of weird and wonderful equipment which accompanied them on stage would make even the most casual of gearheads giddy. The duo’s minimalist aesthetic complemented the sound perfectly, and provided a rather interesting juxtaposition between their simplicity and the rather chaotic but always-endearing décor of Klunkerkranich.
The mellow atmosphere with a gusto-filled performance to boot left the crowd demanding an encore, with the soothingly raw vocal line blending impeccably with the tender force of the percussion. Their latest work shows their slow and steady growth as songwriters; in comparison to earlier projects, their new music is developed and expanding in its fullness. Each track builds off the previous one; everything is connected and coherent.
The audience naturally found themselves floating through the performance; the rich tapestry of carefully curated tracks resulted in an evening which in a way felt more like a meditation than your standard run-of-the-mill gig. The duo managed to paint an evocative picture with their alluring instrumentation, and were careful to push their experiments just far enough through their novel use of loop stations and weird and wonderful pedals.
With ten years of touring experience under their belt, it’s no surprise that they delivered a compelling and intelligent set – we implore you to catch them in a city near you as soon as possible.
Wooden Peak’s new album Yellow Walls will be released in January 2019 through Kicktheflame in collaboration with Broken Silence/Recordjet – take a listen to Stitch here.
Photography credit: Dominik Wolf