The guitar as a storyteller
The sound of Daniel Stelter’s sixth album Pocket Full of Tales combines electric and acoustic to create multi-layered sound worlds. The title itself refers to a line from Laith Al Deen’s soulful feature on Stelter’s previous album Begegnungen. Stelter’s signature sound is characterised by his melodic and vocal guitar playing with classical and electric guitar, which is supplemented here and there by electronic accessories and is accompanied on one or the other track by the voices of Leona Berlin and Stephanie Neigel (Les Brünettes).
In Pocket Full of Tales, Stelter brings different worlds of sound into harmony, which he addresses together with bassist Stefan Kahne and percussionist Tommy Baldu in the first part of the album. Stelter knows how to give his new album, a tasteful two-piece of acoustic and electric soundscapes, a multi-faceted appearance, just as he combines them in his concerts to create a stage dramaturgy.
In combination with vocoder and synth components, he succeeds in reminiscing about the sound of Khruangbin in the opener, and one drifts, sometimes wafting, sometimes groovy, sometimes soft in the background or as a beat, through Stelter’s collection of stories about places, encounters, colours and sunbeams of summer, like supplies for the coming cold, grey and long winter days. His compositions leave room for own stories and surprising twists.
As a composer, Stelter aims to tickle the “VielsAitigkeit” out of his instrument and thus draw the most diverse narrative styles into varied stories. We hear an instrumental picture story in Comics. A cartoon as an audio track. Kawooom! With the single Smoothie, Stelter provides us with lightness and colour in the gloomy season. The ballad Elegie is filled with open improvisation parts and in the track Mama said…, which Stelter composed together with Thabilé and John Jagger, the basic trust in a coming normality emerges. The track Tiny Soleil provides a small ray of hope and in Ludo the guitarist talks about playing and teasing. Trakker, a pedometer, wanders aimlessly. And who doesn’t know the melancholy of the dark season “I run to the summerdays, I’m trapped in darkness” as Stephanie Neigel sings in Summerdays?
In the plot of the second part, Stelter succeeds in fusing chamber music, neoclassical and jazz elements in a duo with Baldu. In the four-part suite, we travel with the narrator to all the places that are still on his wish list. With New Years Dance, Stelter concludes his album and heads towards a new year with good intentions. The duo distils the maximum storytelling with the reduction of the cast. All in all, relaxed and yet very groovy. No skipping allowed!
Daniel Stelter: electric guitar, acoustic guitar, piano & bass on track 5 & 9, synth on track 8
Tommy Baldu: drums & percussion
Stefan Kahne: bass on track 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, moog on track 4
John Jagger: vocals on track 5
Thabilé: vocal on track 5
Stephanie Meigel: vocals on track 9
Leona Berlin: vocals on track 1
Martin Meixner: organ on track 3