Suspension of Disbelief is the fourth and most mature album by Die Wait Watchers, the band project of contemporary artist and musician Tim Berresheim. Founded in 2013, Die Wait Watchers are Andi Thissen with his spot-on groundwork on the bass, Michael Bente, who elicits catchily jagged sounds from his guitar and Tim Berresheim, who as Spiritus R e ctor arranges psychedelia and the likes on the drum computer and synthesizer. The outcome is a mixture, if you will, of radio-friendly wave and bar jazz for fully-lit lounges consisting of crystalline ad-lib modules and a spurring prog rock momentum – in short, something which the usual categories fail to describe accurately and which is ultimately or rather presumably inspired by The Residents.
Most of their releases were recorded in parallel with Berresheim’s output as a visual artist: Their debut album Transit was came out at the occasion of his 2012 exhibition in Berlin entitled Traces and was meant to bridge the potentially not-so-laid-back standby time during the transition from the analogue to the digital era. The dub-infused We Are Smoking Caramellow was recorded in 2014 for Berresheim’s solo exhibition Auge und Welt at the Düsseldorf-based Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen – and finally, now there’s Suspension of Disbelief, which accompanies Berresheim’s eponymous shows at Kunstmuseum Stuttgart and Neuer Aachener Kunstverein.
Despite a number of stylistic difference, the Wait Watchers’ albums are not unlike the work of contemporary artists-slash-musicians Mike Kelley, Michaela Melián and Kai Althoff: They are integral components of artistic oeuvres and at the same time quite simply publications which correlate with genres such as hauntology or hypnagogic pop.
Suspension of Disbelief is by far more atmospheric than its predecessors: Berresheim introduces a wide range of percussive elements along with samples of pieces for strings and wind instruments, creating a gravely impressive, almost sinister atmosphere reminiscent of his 2006 solo debut No Time Left. Although these arrangements are drenched in the recollection of eerie film and TV soundtracks from the 1970s and 80s, they are by no means a tongue-in-cheek post-modern gag, nor are they a nostalgic feast – their aim is a much grander one, and the stylistic disruptions are much too great. From early free jazz to new age, from jazzy library sounds (Delectus) to space rock accompanied by flutes (Subortus) and all the way to forceful, almost Morriconesque tracks (Excolo), the record absorbs musical fragments from a number of different backgrounds only to create a genuine kind of tense slack which, although it uses different means, calls to mind the work of Dean Blunt. The result: a coherent synthesis derived from a musical concept which is duty-bound, in equal parts, to disorientation and beauty. – Wolfgang Brauneis (translated by Barbara Oberhofer, MA)