View Full Version : Your New Favourite Mod's Cd purchases of the week(10/23)

10-24-2002, 01:07 PM
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Andreas Tilliander - Elit
Prolific would be one way to describe Andreas Tilliander’s work. Extremely talented would be another. His new album, Elit singularly attests to his proficiency as a producer. Add to this the fact that it is his third full-length to be released this year alone, and you begin to see why people have been paying a lot of attention to a sound that is becoming increasingly Tilliander’s own. Apart from the music he has released under his own name, this young producer has also put out prodigiously well-received albums and 12's as Mokira, Komp, Rechord, Skitus, and Lowfour. Take the cerebral rhythmic template established by innovators like SND, mix in the low-key funkiness of acts like Boards of Canada, and you begin to get an idea of what Elit is all about. It's about taking the experiments with the clicks and the cuts, with the whole notion of unessentialist sounds, out of the willfully obscure pockets that seem to burden electronic music, and then using these sounds to damage and manipulate established and popular genres like r'n'b, hip hop, and reggae. Urb claims that 'Tilliander's hyperbolic beat sensibility suggests enchanting things to come.' Alternative Press goes one step further to say that his brand of electronics is 'a foreshadowing of the next decade's party music'. No matter which way you break it down, the electronic music community is keenly interested in what Tilliander will do next. Not only with the expectation that he will advance his own music, but that he has the potential to trigger progressions in electronic music as a whole.

Hrvatski - Swarm And Dither
Hrvatski's company in the endeavor to bring out the "humanity" in electronic music 1ncludes recent faves The Books, The Notwist and the perennially hip Mouse on Mars. However, despite the organic source material that goes into his music, he actually belongs to an eccentric breed of one-man digital alchemists like Fennesz and Ekkehard Ehlers. Hrvatski (born Keith Fullerton Whitman) might have a bacckground in freeform guitar skronk and amplifier noise, but his methods betray a fascination with the synthetic and processed. In fact, he studied ethnomusicology at Berklee, and while that may not mean much to non-musos, it does expose the contradiction of someone who would be writing academic treatises on the importance of preserving indigenous folk music if he weren't so interested in fucking with Winston Brothers breaks.

1998's Oiseaux 1996-1998 found Hrvatski running his breaks fascination into the ground, and then some. By no means was the album repetitive, though it could be maddeningly skittish, as if his rule of thumb was to make sure no two measures of music were identical. As a result, some tracks that might have been jams in their first drafts became baroque symphonettes, perhaps more impressive than viscerally moving. That said, it was a detail freak's fantasy, and it prompted many frustrated fans to wait patiently for the official follow-up.

Swarm & Dither is the result of almost four years of waiting, experimenting, writing, and more waiting. By Hrvatski's own admission, a lot has changed since his last full-length offering, and this record is a culmination of tracks record over the duration. Because of that, the sound is often reminiscent of his last record, most notably on the handful of tracks recorded just after its completion. The newer stuff uses a different pallet of sounds, but is still noticeably in his style, with restless beat-shifting and tendency for acoustic intervention in a medium dominated by computer generated blips.

The opener, "Vatstep DSP" (a fan fave since its 1999 debut as a Kid606 "remix"), plays a similar role as "Routine Exercise" did on Oiseaux: that of the hardcore jam. Beginning with an explosion of swirling hard drive-feedback and radio static, it launches into a beat at once complex and goofy-- imagine Merrie Melodies IDM. Hrvatski's speak-and-spell vocal might be the funniest thing ever to appear on a laptop-composed record, and the kitten samples are on point. Similarly, "2nd Zero Fidelity Mandible Investigation" manages to transcend its inherently convoluted construction and oompah beat to reveal remarkable attention to detail. Check the tambourine borrowed from the first album; watch that oozing synth patch; listen in to over-the-bar beat displacements. The only drawback-- and a minor one, really-- is that both of these tracks sound like they could have been on Oiseaux.

The digital soundscape that develops into "Paint It Black" represents the other side of Swarm & Dither, wherein Hrvatski works in the same laptop-acoustic hybrid as fellow fusionists Fennesz and The Books. The first half of this tune is not the Rolling Stones song at all, but a contemplative guitar figure with assorted glitch effects. When the proper tune starts in, with a drastically altered lead vocal featuring dissonant auto-harmonizing, the effects threaten to overtake the arrangement but never quite do. "Carrot (Hrvatski's Night Vision)" uses this juxtaposition to even better effect, as acoustic guitar and electric piano act as foundation for a solemn, wistful clarinet line. The heavy loop in the bacckground and various effects hardly detract from the general ambience.

Where the record might misfire for some listeners is when Hrvatski abandons breaks and beats entirely, as on tunes like "Anesthetize Thineself". If you're impatient, you might miss the gorgeous extended outro with guitar and synth, because the first half is almost random distorto-glitch along the lines of particularly anti-social Warp. And on "Echoes", you'll need an ear sympathetic to manic piano accents as the track uses that sound exclusively to flesh out polyrhythmic pandemonium, and leads immediately to the hyperactive, sometimes jarring "EWC4".

The record ends with a straight band version of Swedish space-rockers Trad Gras och Stenar's "Tegenborg". The rollicking, cheerful strains of this tune sound almost comically displaced on this record, and yet there's something to it. Swarm & Dither makes vital noise out of some very automated processes, and perhaps ending the album so straightforwardly says something about the ideas behind this stuff. You might assume most new electronic music is devoid of that old-fashioned human emotion, but Hrvatski's music offers evidence that it can be both intellectual and inviting.

-Dominique Leone, October 15th, 2002

Sonic Youth/ICP/The Ex - In The Fishtank 9
‘In The Fishtank’ is a special project series on the Dutch KONKURRENT
label, inviting touring bands to record 20 to 30 minutes of whatever
they like; new songs, alternative versions, improvised pieces… Previous
instalments have come from LOW + DIRTY THREE, JUNE OF 44, TORTOISE + THE
This is Fishtank # 9, a collaboration featuring legendary noiseniks
SONIC YOUTH (now with JIM O’ROURKE), Dutch jazzers I.C.P. and THE EX. This
is Sonic Youth in experimental mode, inspired by performing
contemporary compositions at the Holland Festival. It took only one day to record
and the result is as unpredictable as was hoped for; delicate, abstract
and elusive miniatures that fit better in the tradition of jazz rather
than the frame of pop music. The power of musical spontaneity,
improvisation and imagination.

Machine Translations - Happy
New record for Melbourne-based artist J. Walker, not much more info on this one, but I adored his last record

Susumu Yokota - The Boy And The Tree
"The boy of The Boy And The Tree is me, and this is my dream story. There is an island called Yakushima in the south of Japan, which is designated as a world heritage site. It rains a lot there and there are many trees that are two or three thousand years old. It is a very mysterious island. Also, there is an animation film called Mononokehime directed by Hayao Miyazki. The scenario, nature itself, is the living thing and this film has sharp animal sensibilities.
These two things have effected this album very much. „I also moved to the suburbs of Tokyo two years ago, and live in a place which is closer to the mountains and river. I go to the mountains a few times a week and this atomosphere is reflected in my music. The smell of grass and trees, the air in the woods makes my mind clear. And it gives good effect for making music. Walking among the big trees, I can hear my heartbeat and also the sound of the earth echo"
-S. Yokota</font>

sawdust restaurants
10-24-2002, 04:38 PM
You really need to rip some of these albums, or even a few songs here and there, and share them. Now that Audiogalaxy is gone I have no way to hear a lot of this.

10-24-2002, 05:41 PM
hrvatski's album is pretty damn crazy. i really like it.

10-25-2002, 12:12 AM
Originally posted by Irrelevant
hrvatski's album is pretty damn crazy. i really like it.
<font color=33FFFF> yeah, this particular disc works well as a whole album, even though it is just a compilation of rare tracks or whatever</font>

10-25-2002, 12:48 AM
Originally posted by Graveflower
It's really good, but there's other stuff from this year that's better. Max Tundra and Aardvarck.

i haven't heard the Aardvarck album, and though Max Tundra's album is good i wouldn't really compare the two.

10-25-2002, 01:00 AM
Originally posted by Graveflower

It's really good, but there's other stuff from this year that's better. Max Tundra and Aardvarck.

<font color=33FFFF> so these two artists, Tundra and Aardvarck, I should look into them if I like Hrvatski's sound then?</font>

10-26-2002, 08:59 AM
<font color=33FFFF> ^answer my question anyone?...please?</font>

10-26-2002, 11:31 AM
Aardvark is a great album, but more concise than Hrvatski. It might make more sense to compare it to Tri Repetae by Autechre. And I won't listen to Max Tundra because I don't like his name.