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Fanal IIIformat: LP | catalogue: sonig 81LP | year: 2010
Limited edition vinyl (300 copies).
"Fanal III isn't an 'album' in the common meaning/understanding of the word. It feels more like an oracle, a fragile talisman in need of protection. ... When you do listen ... there's an intimacy and unknowable strangeness that doesn't go away. It's what means the most to me in art.
Althoff is a shapeshifter. One who always maintains his original form. He's not content to stick to a single medium or process. It's like he can't. Still, there's an instantly recognizable methodology and aesthetic, a thread that easily (and squarely) ties it all together. The audio recordings are as instantly recognizable - as much 'an Althoff' - as his paintings or performances. They are performances. They're sculptural. They stand beside, and overlap with, everything else.
As anyone who's looked at Althoff's practice knows, he collaborates. It's central to the project no matter the materials. He's recorded seven albums with Stephan Abry as the avant electro-acoustic pop/rock "krautfolk" group Workshop. ... Separately, he releases solo material under Fanal – 'beacon', 'beacon of hope', 'torch'. Each Fanal collection is untitled. ... The most recent, the third one contains a dozen compositions. Althoff pilots each with a constantly morphing incantation: The pieces whirl between electronic, noise, rock, folk, cabaret, circus, torch, oddball children's music. Whatever form the shells take, the words are essential, as is the way they're spoken. They're carefully crafted canvasses." (Brandon Stosuy)