With The Rules of Another Small World, M. Ostermeier has arrived at an elegant voice – otherworldly and 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 converse 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 striking 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.