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The Blurring Of Trees

The Blurring Of Trees
(Planet Mu)

It was a couple months ago that I heard the name Lexaunculpt (although one Alex Graham has released a couple EPs under the name thusfar). I read enough good words about it that I downloaded the first two tracks from the release and listened to them. The nine minutes passed by and my reaction was one that I don't have very often. Instead of downloading more tracks from the release, or simply hitting repeat, I instantly deleted the tracks and ordered the album. I was amazed by what I had heard, and I didn't want to spoil another minute of the release.

When the CD arrived and I played it again, those first two tracks were just as I'd remembered them. "The Tuning Of Miniature Modems" opens the disc with the sounds of a symphony warming up before it is in turn crumbled by digital effects. That track in turn clicks into "Has Been Trying Not To Wonder," which is one of the better tracks that I've heard yet this year and somewhat re-affirms my faith in IDM (whatever that means). Mixing the sounds of early Autechre with a touch of the delicate programming of Mum and a slight dash of classical (yeah, classical), it morphes into slightly different structues about 4 times over the course of about 8 minutes and plays out like a dream.

It's somewhat unfortunate then, that the rest the release has a litle bit of trouble sustaining the same level of quality that the first glimse of the release gives. "A Funeral For A Pink Elephant Ear" follows up with another short interlude of slightly frayed classical piano before "Nintey-Seven Cars And Free Love" follows it with a glitched-up, sputtering electronic workout and "Drowning Cricket Quartet" spits out all manner of gurgling electronic noises and hiccuping clicks. Reclaiming a bit of the beauty of the initial tracks is "Le Elancholia," another excellent classical-touched track that sounds sort of like what might happen if Fennesz got his hands on some more Debussy (although it's a little less deconstructed than the work by Fenn O'Berg).

From there, the album dives right back into the micro-programmed clip-hop tracks that are technically amazing, but simply fail to engage as much as the more subtle work on the album. It's true that "Strangelove Offline" clomps along like a mad robotic walrus, but the same sounds are used in slightly different ways on a batch of tracks on the album and it becomes a bit wearisome at times. Just when you think he's gone overboard with the clicks and cuts, the album drops right back into sheer bliss on the closing track of "Emori Dixon Renamed." True, it's another filtered and digitally-manipulated piece of what was probably once classical, but the end result is so damn lovely that it's hard to argue against. While the louder tracks are nice to break up the pace once in awhile, I could literally listen to a whole album of the more textural pieces on the disc. Because of the above, The Blurring Of Trees ends up being sort of a schizo disc. On one hand, there are these amazingly gauzy pieces of broken-down classical that work as some of the best reworkings of the genre that I've heard in electronic music, and on the other hand you have almost piercing, highly glitched-out pieces of stuttering electronics. There are moments where the two meet (as mentioned above) in varying degrees of success, but as I also stated above, it seems like it could have been much more.

Rating: 7