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triola / triola im fünftonraum / kompakt

Triola is the one and only Jorg Burger, the man from Cologne who records under almost as many aliases as Wolfgang Voigt. You may have just heard of a few of them; does the Modernist, Bionaut, Autobianchi, Burger/Ink, ring any bells?? Yes, Jorg Burger is all of them and more, and now he has recorded one of the most brilliant records that Kompakt has ever released. Triola Im Fünftonraum is right up there with Dettinger's two full-lengths. It is that good, and takes us back to the classic days of Kompakt, before Schaffel, before Pop Ambient, when a techno record was filled with all of the elements that I love in electronic music. Downtempo beats collide with lush synths and the tracks build slowly with some of the most gorgeous melodies I have heard in some time until they climax and everything drops, fades and the next track does exactly the same thing -- it totally blows you away. This album is fantastic, and definitely one of Kompakt's finest hours.
listen: neuland
listen: wanderlust

various artists / but then again / ~scape

Well, right off the bat, the first thing I noticed was that this album sounds AMAZING. The tracks feature ultra-dynamic sound positioning and pin-point melodies that linger so far from the speakers that it resembles the effect of someone behind you beatmatching his ringtone to your stereo. (Check the last section of Cappablack's "5th Dimension" with its Brigitte Fontaine loop.)

While previous ~scape releases focused on dub, glitch-hop and, minimal soul, "But Then Again" displays a wide yet focused sense of variety that shows the label successfully branching out while still remaining true to its minimal, textural, high fidelity aesthetic. The melodies are more pronounced but without just being one-finger, 'naive' melodies. They remain somewhat 'serios' and complex, sitting in some less-explored space between dancetracks and ambient tracks. (Check John Tejada's "And Many More," Jelinek's "Western Mimickry" and J. Burger's "Neuland".) Some tracks touch on the indie/melodic electronica leanings of Morr Music, Karaoke Kalk and maybe even Intr. Version (Headset and Soulo, Epo etc.), but again, without ever becoming too obvious or 'cute.' Bravo to Stefan Betke and all the artists involved and happy fifth year anniversary! Recommended.

andrew pekler / nocturnes, false dawns and breakdowns / ~scape

Former member of Sad Rockets and Bergheim 34, and current Heidelberg, German resident (by way of California), Andrew Pekler began recording on his own in early-2000. Nocturnes, False Dawns and Breakdowns continues where 2002's Station to Station left off, exploring the possibilities of combining programmed digital-scapes with acoustic improvisation. Precise shifting tones of delicate electronic textures combine with bleeps and pulses coming in, seemingly from all directions, while multiple layers of dense and diverse percussion and vibes work with and against each other to create a sonically rich tapestry of sound. Recalling everything from the electro acoustic funk of Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Sun Ra to the spacial dub/jazz explorations of Burnt Friedman, Four Tet, Tortoise, Cinematic Orchestra and As One. The interesting thing is that Nocturnes manages to keep it all together in a way that gives his music a very evenly balanced weight and feel to it, never pushing so far out that it disrupts the overall character of the whole. Recommended.
listen: stardusting
listen: sleepless

soft pink truth / do you want new wave or do you want the soft pink truth / tigerbeat6

With last year's fantastic micro-funk masterpiece Do You Party, Matmos' Drew Daniels showed us that when he wasn't busy sampling the sounds of liposuctions and rat cages, he likes to get down and dirty. For his second solo release as the Soft Pink Truth, Daniels throws us another curve ball transforming old-school American hardcore and British punk songs into techno music. He covers bands like Angry Samoans, Die Kreuzen, Crass and Minor Threat reinterpreting their anarchist classics through house, acid house and booty bass grinders. Features vocal guests like fashion designer Jeremy Scott, Vickie Bennet, Blevin Blectum and Dani Siciliano.
listen: out of step
listen: kitchen