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Net Decks 9

img  Tobias

Guns n Roses and “Appetite for Destruction” were the first musical revelations for Turin’s Franco Cazzola, but we can’t imagine Axl Rose dancing to “Modular Family” anytime soon. Cazzola certainly has a long and winding road behind him: Glam Rock, electronica, hardcore techno, organising (illegal) underground parties, life as a DJ, work as a studio owner and now an impending career as a producer under the name of Tek – Cazzola never stays in one (musical) place for too long. The same can not be said about the pieces on “Modular Family”, however. Starting from a single idea, the tracks merely vary their elements with simple, but deadly effective means and grab the listener by entering the flow and staying put. Opener “Cistico”, for example, builds organically, introducing finely nuanced motives, which often have more of a textural function, instead of adding polyrhythmic patterns, such as a theremin singing sweetly in the background. While the upfront action is mighty and monotonous, there are hundreds of tiny particles buzzing in the air, microscopic hihats and almost inaudible clicks. “Indastria” is more groovy and less linear, offering a joyously jumping bass and babbling frog-like gurglings as well as a prominent snare drum. With breaks of deep strings, bell melodies and swelling choirs, Tek first eases the pressure, only to immerse his audience in the drive again. Final track “Mia” is more experimental and stands out right away: While the percussive events push and brim, surreal sustained backwards tones linger on top and create the sensation of floating inside the eye of the storm. This feeling is enhanced in the edit courtesy of Pentagonik co-label founder Kairos, who first strips the track bare, only to unexpectedly rework it into a scifi electro monster of majestic proportions. I can even see Axl Rose’s little finger moving to the beat.
www.pentagonik.de

Sven Laux is back with already his fifth EP this year: “The Stories of Kwiggle” is out on Meerestief, a label, radio show and magazine with some of the highest quality packaging-standards when it comes to their physical releases and the demand of going far beyond the superficial with everything they do in general. As such, Laux should feel perfectly at home here. Not sure whether Kwiggle is a reference to the relatively rare computer virus, but just like this digital worm slows down the system until it is working at full capacity while being barely able to move, Sven has silenced the pulse of his tracks to a gentle heartbeat and brought the subtle crispbread structures, which previously underpinned his music like an insect hum, to the fore. Everything is opaque and hazy and inside these many different parallel and aversely running streams, you can never be sure whether that tiny hiss was a cut, a pitched chord or a hihat. Dub is a major influence here, less in the sense of utter minimalism and techniques (the echo chamber stays closed for most of the time), but rather in the playful manner of using samples and opening structures for a couple of seconds (“On the Road” features a field recording of a church bell, for example). It is the small noises which really make the difference here and may possibly be more important than the spartan, but inviting bass lines and the hypnotic percussions. Whoever he is, we’d like to hear more stories of Kwiggle soon.
www.meerestief.com

Sometimes, a netrelease can provide an artist with the freedom of working on a project continously over a period of time without loosing touch with his fans – or actually building an audience to start with and make them experience artistic progress as it happens. For two entire years, Thomas L. Raukamp has operated under the disguise of løser and pushed a concept called “Ologie”, which is a vast, continually growing and challenging collection of slowly unfolding, airy and shimmering tracks in the zone between Ambient, Downbeat, Chill-Out and classic electronic music. Howard Jones (with whom Raukamp has had the pleasure of conducting an interview of lately) is named as an influence, but his clever electropop has not made an immediate impact on the compositions. Jean-Michel Jarre has, however. “Computercamp” is a namecheck on the French synthesizer pioneer’s “Computer Weekend” and plays with the steel drums of “Calypso Part II”, while løser’s “Nur” uses the clicking of a photo camera as its main motive – similar to Jarre’s “Souvenir of China”. Tracks lean on the combination of forward-bound grooves and mesmerising harmonic pads, integrated into a glistening, warm production. The more the music dirfts into Ambient territory, the more Raukamp’s own voice is heard, with dark clouds looming over world floating in the evening sun. Melody is less important than chord development and beats, but there are lots of hidden themes, which only gradually begin to build their momentum in the background. One of the noticeable exceptions is “The Final Ologie”, a violin meditation over a massive string section and clattering drums. All of the tracks sound fine even on my tiny pc speakers, but downloading these to listen to them on your stereo in full glory is certainly recommended. Oh, and make sure you scroll down all the way on the Ologie page for two more bonus tracks!
www.ologie.info/

By Tobias Fischer

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