RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

Marow: Plus Minus Null

img  Tobias Fischer

Plus Minus Null, he newest album by the Berlin-based electronic group Marow is the sort of perfectly chilled-out fare that accompanies late solitary evenings or a post-club car ride home. Glossy synth pads swell over minimalist, glitch-y electronic beats. Old school hip-hop samples chirp around four-to-the-floor house beats and lounge-y keyboard figures. Clicking metallic rhythms and digital blips move antiphonally around slowly oscillating space-age synth sounds. While the record’s quiet subtleties make for ideal mood music, its depth of color and texture bring you back for repeated listens.

Plus Minus Null is first and foremost atmosphere music. There’s little in the way of melody or harmonic motion over the course of the record’s thirteen songs.  Instead, the music is built on meditative repetitions and stripped down production touches that occasionally touch on classical minimalism à la Steve Reich. That’s not to say that there’s nothing going on here—rather, the music’s intrigue is in its subtlety: the faint vocal samples in “präfix,” the simulated mallet percussion of “schweif,” the huffing synth pops of “substrativ.” “eis (long)” is an intoxicating cloud of windchimes and floating keyboard pulses. Repeated listens to the mesmerizing “e.coli (rmx)” reveal ever-emerging layers and sonic colors.

Plus Minus Null is best ingested as a whole. The songs flow seamlessly into one another, making for a meditative suite that pendulums the listener between active and passive listening. At some points, the music seeps so far into the background that it’s easy to forget it’s even there. But then or a subtle shift in texture or rhythm brings you back to reveal a new, quietly engaging element of depth and color.

By Hannis Brown

Homepage: Force Inc Records / Mille Plateaux

Related articles

Alva Noto: "For 2"
Not through with explaining: A ...
Flica: "Telepathy Dreams"
Amazing reticence: Sound Art written ...
Nest: "Retold"
Always the Piano: Retold proudly ...
Halogen: "Baked"
Robotic beats and human resonance: ...
Undermathic: "Return to Childhood"
A penchant for irritation and ...
CD Feature/ The Black Dog: "Further Vexations"
Two albums in one: A ...

Partner sites