The discography of Rune Reilly Kölsch is an intensely personal one. Having explored the year of his birth on ‘1977’, and travels around Europe on ‘1983’, he arrives at the start of the difficult early teenage period, six years later. The internal strife is suggested by the slowly shifting strings and full kick drum of ‘Surji’, a beautifully orchestrated piece of work, while the oscillations of ‘Grau’ have more positive energy that hints at better times, pushing towards trance. Kölsch throws in some more acoustic classical twists, suggesting an intriguing clash of musical styles in his youth, and these are felt in the jabbing strings in ‘Khairo’, or the nice, graceful piano that leads us through the deep and intimate ‘14’, a moment of reflection that contrasts nicely with the big rhythms elsewhere. Like the teenage years in question, this is a restless album, and several of the tracks are named ‘Grey’ in different languages to suggest the periods of inward soul searching that went on at that time. Despite these moments of doubt, ‘1989’ has plenty to recommend it.

Ben Hogwood
4 out of 5