FAX e-mail list

Shop at iTunes





Privacy Policy

cover art

 Amp - PK 08/117
  Release Date: 1 July 1996
  Limitation: 1000

   Chica                         7.36
   Strahl                        7.02
   Kuch                          9.41
   Staircase                    11.35
   Adolescence                   8.20
   Tales of the Experi-Men       6.33

  all tracks written by Pete Namlook & Dandy Jack

First off let me say that this disc impressed me much more then I initially thought it would. To me, it seems like Dandy Jack is stylistically a million miles from Namlook. Here we have on the ultra end of the spectrum a quick-witted Chilean quipster and jesting court musician whipping up electro-tech patterns, while at the infra end we've got an experienced deep space rocker well-versed in several dozen varieties of German IDM. Maybe it's their glaring differences that make the album work. Recorded over at Pete's haus, Amp turns out to be another solid project that could only be spawned by the ever-changing mix of forces at work in the Faxlabel Forum. This disc came out right when Fax began using the cryptic circle-dot dingbat font. It's lil' orphan Dandy time kids, bust-out yer decoders, now we git the secret message! Actually, I haven't yet figured out what's all written on the inside, hellos & thank yooz i assume... anyone anyone?

Aight dem traks:

Chica - A funky # with lyrics! Has a well-balanced diet of drums, not overwhelming, yet not sparse. This track demonstrates once again that Dandy Jack can make just about anything fit the groove, even if it's the size of an elephant and sounds off-key. Of course, his own albums are full of that sort of thing, but here the beats are a little more substantial.

Strahl - Starts out with fluxing drones and distinct, reflexive polyrhythms. This evolves into close-up breakbeaty patterns. The track concludes soon after all the elements are brought to full concentration.

Kuch - A punchy 4/4 tune right around 125 bpm. After some time with the beat, a dubby bassline joins in and some far-off breaks. An omnipresent drone can only be ignored until it begins to ripple and bubble.

Staircase - For me, this is the real catcher for the album. It also happens to be the longest track (well, isn't that pleasant) at just over 11 minutes. Starts with a maxed-out wash of playground ambience put through train station lobby reverb. Some harder breaky-type beats containing that tom drum from Outland II and what sounds to me like the synth from the intro track on Senor Coconut. Of course, this is nearly a year prior to the Nut's release. The beats build and then cut off a la Jet Chamber IV into the floating Namlookian synth void we first heard hints of all the way back on the 4Voice CD's outro. Then, the 2 partners sonically fuse, and more melodies fade into the foreground. The basslines too begin to change and show a bit more character. Creates that "hey i kinda dig this" atmosphere. :^) The playground is where you started, and the playground's where you'll find yourself at the end.

Adolescence - We begin with some hypersequenced weirdness that quickly gives way to the strangest percussive combo: clicks (like the ones from Sultan), bass, slow-attack gaussian fluffs, and soft sheet metal gongs bouncing all around your head. The song enunciates mouthlike at times. The other movements are created with pauses at certain points, along with an effective triple-tone melody and chords.

Tale of the Experi-Men - The last song also happens to be the shortest, and also the most eerie of the bunch. Actually, think galaxy-hitcher meets an experimental version of Jet Chamber's finale, Streamline.

(review by no@h)

it's no secret i've been pretty unimpressed with fax's output of late, and it will perhaps come as little surprise (to some, anyway) that i'm excited by the brash, somewhat goofy, heavily syncopated stylings of this first collaborative effort between namlook and chilean house/techno composer dandy jack. straddling the still-rich fences of electro and drum'n'basss (hi gio!) with an atmospheric flair recalling the second of the _weschelspannung_ and _jet chamber_ series, _amp_ is easily the most interesting project namlook's been involved with in some time, and has the added attraction of dandy jack's straying from the more predictable structures of his recent _cosmic trousers_ release on rather interesting (translation: only one track of oof-duh, oof-duh, etc.). where some might be turned off by the above description, however (particularly with the sterility of some of _jet chamber 2_), _amp_ is almost uniformly warm and engaging, mixing an undeniable sense of humor (dj's thick, messy basslines and googed out vocal snippets--"c'mon chica!") with an attention to mood and feeling reminiscent of the best of namlook's solo works...with all the shakeups in the eulengasse offices of late, one would hope these sorts of projects represent the future of a label struggling badly for its next step...

(review by Sean Cooper)


back to top