Review: German glitch/electronica legend Jan Jelinek (Farben/Gramm) collaborates once again with Japanese vibraphonist Masayoshi Fujita. Schaum (German for froth, foam) is the duo's second album, following up 2010's Bird, Lake, Objects LP. Fujita prepared his instrument with various percussion elements as well as metal objects and toys, while Jan Jelinek layered loops made using small-scale electronic devices. Our personal highlights on this album were hearing the lush hypnotism of "Helio" where Fujita's tonal subtlety merged with Jelinek's trance inducing loops. The brooding ambient epic "Botuto" and the dynamic closing track "Parades" which will wash over then submerge you deeply over its amazing 10 minute duration.
Review: Jan Jelinek has made many fine albums over the years, under both his given name and a handful of occasional aliases. One such pseudonym was Gramm, a handle he plucked out of thin air for the release of the now celebrated 1999 full-length "Personal Rock". Here that set is given a deserved 20th anniversary vinyl reissue, allowing a whole new generation to investigate the dusty nooks and crannies of one of the producer's most techno-centric releases. It is every bit as sample-heavy, glitchy and crackling as his other work, whereas other outings explored skewed hip-hop beats and downtempo grooves, "Personal Rock" was more informed by the steady pulse of dub techno, the deep space fluidity of ambient techno and the locked-in hypnotism of original era minimal techno. The results are out of this world.
The Ballad Of Soap Und: Die GEMA Nimmt Kontakt Auf (10:20)
Up To My Same Old Trick Again (8:42)
Happening Tone (9:42)
Review: When it was first released by Scape in 2006, Jan Jelinek's "Tierbeobachtungen" album never appeared on vinyl, hence this limited-edition reissue from Faitiche. While all of Jelinek's albums are worth a listen, this remains one of his most pertinent, in part because it grew out of live shows in which the loop-jammer created slowly unfurling epics out of little more than odd samples, effects pedals and a very small number of "miniature synthesizers". Musically, it's not as percussive and beat-driven as some of his work, instead sitting somewhere between classic American minimalism, music concrete, unearthly ambient and the similarly drowsy, locked-in hypnotism of some of krautrock's more cosmic, synthesizer-wielding pioneers. There's beauty to be found from start to finish, but also creepiness by the shipload.
Review: These days, we're all familiar with Jan Jelinek's trademark brand of dusty, dubbed-out, jazz-sampling downtempo explorations. That wasn't the case when Loop Finding Jazz Records, his acclaimed debut album, first appeared back in 2001. It has since become an in-demand item, making this reissue more than handy. It remains a fine album; a blazed shuffle through a sonic world where dub techno, ambient, minimal house, jazz and downtempo grooves and seductive vinyl crackle merge into one intoxicating hybrid sound. It's not showy and over-the-top, but rather becalmed and subtly seductive. In other words, it's still a brilliant album and if you don't own already own a copy, you should add this to your cart sharpish.
Review: Andrew Pekler is a captivating artist who changes his angle of approach with each subsequent album. Following his remarkable exercise in synthesized field recordings and hyperreal exotica, "Tristes Tropiques", Pekler returns to Jan Jelinek's Faitiche label with a follow-up that actually builds on the premise of the former album, but expands the vision and injects a more lucid sense of musicality into the proceedings. The pieces on "Sounds From Phantom Islands" were selected from an online project which explored the theme of false land masses mapped out by cartographers in the early era of global exploration. In Pekler's hands, these ghostly archipelagos become a source of seductive intrigue, draped in the idealism of exotica and teeming with verdant fauna and flora. It's a dreamy listen - one of Pekler's best to date.