The Rules of Another Small World is otherworldly yet strangely beautiful, much like the desolate Taiwanese San-Zhr Pod Village gracing the album cover.
While elements of electroacoustic, modern classical, jazz, glitch, drone, ambient, and even lounge weave in and out of the record’s eleven compositions, The Rules of Another Small World is the opposite of an eclectic collection of songs.
Instead, a cohesive album springs forth from the subtle commonalities in texture and structure etched into every song. These commonalities derive in part from the “rules” of the album title, a reference to M. Ostermeier's self-imposed limitations adopted during the composition of these pieces.
Despite its minimalistic leanings, The Rules of Another Small World paints a melodic, freeform world full of detail. Slow melodic fragments dance in and out of focus, while small sounds both tinker about in the foreground and percolate curiously in the aural architecture underneath.
The superposition of unadorned piano melodies and unpredictable sonic microorganisms lifts the melancholic darkness M. Ostermeier explored on Lakefront (Hibernate, 2010) revealing a tone that is more optimistic – even playful (think Cluster, Benjamin Lew, Carpet Musics, Pawn, or Opitope).
Towards that end, most compositions are constructed in the three-minute pop-song format, blossoming with lives lasting only long enough to explore their environment before they metamorphoses into something new.
A brilliantly subtle album. Highly recommended.
— Cyclic Defrost
Offering something new to a path well trod...a stunning collection of pieces exploring the intricacies of found sounds and electronics and the beauty of the piano in its natural state.
— Fluid Radio
A distinctive electro-acoustic collection dotted with micro-tonal detail that largely sidesteps any one delimiting style for a more open-ended presentation.
I think I'm going to use the word brilliant again.
— Norman Records
released May 10, 2011
m. ostermeier : electronics - acoustics - piano
recorded : baltimore md usa
photography : craig ferguson