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Electronic Kling Klang


As I've read, this group used to create more stomping, industrial tunes that the soundscapes that they've landed with on this release. Having been a group since 1993 or so, they've managed to release about one album per year, as well as appear on different compliations and, remix duties and side projects. Jumping from IDM to ethereal ambience, it's an interesting release, and it pulls off most of the styles very well, despite the fact that they may end up alienating some of their old fans with it.

The opening track stutters and clicks along with all kinds of electronic gadgetry, and it sounds very nearly like something that might have come off Autechre's Self Titled release from 1998. After the track is over, it all fades down into a soft wash of sound before drifting off into "Overflow" with vocals by Vanessa Briggs. A beat never comes into the mix and it's a very nice, ethereal break coming on the heels of the almost cold sounds of the first track. The beat picks up again on the next track "Doubleyou" and feels like sort of a mixture of the first two. There are definitely some cold electronic elements, but it also has a airy background and goth-sounding vocals by Daniel Myer.

While the next track doesn't vary enough to really make it stand out, the title track of the CD is a gurgling, brooding slab of electronic music with vocals that marks the center point of the release well. Briggs is back on vocal duties on "Less," but this time the music surrounding her words is a little more rough around the edges. It's sort of a glitchy drum-and-bass track that works by juxtaposing the vocals with the colder electronics. The album closes out with the very neat stutter-stepping beat of "X-Flow" before an over 10 minute hidden track roles that oozes through different beats and samples found on the entirety of the album. While it could have been annoying, it really does work as a decent track on its own and winds things down well.

Overall, the album falls in some sort of strange middle ground between IDM, glitch, stark drum and bass, and even a smidge of ethereal goth. It will defintely confuse fans of the group if they're looking for industrial, but it's also a well-produced album that has a lot of interesting things going for it. It bogs down somewhat in the final third or so with similar beat structures, but it's nothing that completely derails things. If you're into dark electronic music, but stop short of industrial, you'll definitely want to check it out.

Rating: 6.75