‘Health’, by Frankfurt-based artist and musician Man Rei, aka Kristin Reiman, opens wistfully amongst lush, echoing drones, their vocal intimations stretched out in boundless, iridescent cycles. It’s amongst these reverb-drenched murmurs that a vast space makes way for their confessional ruminations on the disarray of life and its messiness. Within these songs is a voice that illuminates the overlooked, a pervasive synthesis of idiosyncrasy and beauty, all imbued with the irresistible and tender spirit of Man Rei. As the closing words of ‘Without fear’ reverberate, there’s a feeling akin to acceptance, Reiman’s perception of loneliness intertwined with hope.
On Health, Man Rei conjures a sense of being on the cusp of sleep, where the gap between subconscious and reality can start to get a little blurry. Although there’s a shimmer through their music that joins the dots between Grouper and the Cocteau Twins, they balance oneiric drift with pristine clarity. Opener ‘I Don’t Want The Money’ layers voice into a choral levitation, before the glimmer peels away into the sparsely plucked guitar notes of ‘Mangeler’. ‘Stairclimb’’s luminous chords morph into a twisted spiral. Through it all, their lyrics paint vivid snapshots from ambiguous settings. “Oh do I love, feeling sorry for myself” over ‘Just Another Let It Die’’s sparkling chords. Or, “I’m a mystery to myself exclusively” among ‘Pareidolia’’s twinkling drones. According to the release notes, Health is driven by Man Rei confronting the impermanence of existence. While these ruminations are doused in melancholy, their compositions find tenderness in heavy questions and fragile mental states.
– Daryl Worthington, The Quietus, June 2023
Tape, 1st edition of 75, 2nd edition of 50