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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Quick Looks 12-23-10

Some stuff to read:

Access To Arasaka - "void();"
This seems to be a bit like his EP7 or Bion Glent. That album where he turns from semi-accessible melodic idm into nearly incomprehensible technical wankery. It's even got the obligatory (albeit awesome) fractal artwork. It is nice to see him change a bit, although for the all the evolution much of this album still feels like ssdd. The same sounds reappear time and again, but this time with less direction than ever. Is there any semblance of structure here? It still has beautiful, visionary cuts of ambiance, but the vision has morphed into ghost in the shell on lsd. This album actually reminds me quite a bit of Autrechre's recent Oversteps - the overly complex ambient-ish soundscapes with sparse glitchy beatwork (probably more beats here). This is the least accessible thing he has crafted, which makes for a challenging and interesting listen. You brain will enjoy this more than the seemingly ever-present minimal netlabel idm. Would appeal to fans of mid to late Autechre moreso than early. Production and sound quality is his best so far.   8/10

Dirk Geiger - "Autumn Fields"
A bit different for tympanik. Autumn Fields has some really good, somber and emotive ambient sections and sparse clicky idm-ish beats. When Dirk is using the aforementioned he is pretty good. The album is primarily comprised of good ambient soundscapes which remind me of the hopeless, depressive atmosphere of A Wake A Week. The beats are cool, although it generally feels more like "ambient with clicky rhythmic noises" rather than "idm" per say. The general atmosphere sounds to me sort of like a strange, ethereal and quasi-futuristic forest or garden. Unfortunately, despite many good qualities, Dirk Geiger seems to have a proclivity towards really fucking annoying sounds, and he uses them all over the goddamn place: random nonsensical out of place "experimental" sounds, or loud shrill sounds that drone on and on, or people talking in the background (which is fine, except that he will have it going for like 75% the fucking track...see "Autumn Life").  Regardless of that negative aspect, the conclusion is that this album is generally good, melancholy ambient idm, occasionally marred by horribly annoying sounds. There are also two remixes which did not appear in this review. The AtA one is pretty sweet.   7.5/10

Pleq & Segue - "The Seed"
After some prior collab it looks like Pleq and Seed have dropped a full length collaborative album. It's made up of 3 collaborative tracks, a couple of original tracks and remixes each other (twice each). The album is warm, minimal, almost melancholic, nostalgic ambiance coupled with Pleq's trademark clicky / static-y percussion. It's a bit warmer and more organic than Pleq's usual work and I think this combo works well. It's a little bit boring, as not much really happens in any of the tracks, and there is an overshadowing sense of "hmm this kinda sounds like the other pleq record i have". The best description I can give for these songs is that each one feels like you are sitting in a particular type of natural environment, gently gazing and quietly taking in it's beauty.  For example "the piano" feels like sitting in an expansive brownish yellowish field under the warm summer sun, watching flowers sway in the breeze. It's a beautiful, highly tranquil experience, but it's also sparse and not a whole lot happens. If you want warm, organic and non-intrusive ambient with a subtle post-rock edge (sorta n5md-ish) than give this a listen.  7/10

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