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 Polytime - PK 08/140
  Release Date: 1 June 1998
  Limitation: 1000

   Worldwide Roaming       7.29
   Insight                11.00
   Polytime               15.57
   Tina                    5.43
   True Blue              11.21

  all tracks written by Pete Namlook and Karl Berger

It doesn't sound exactly like the highest compliment to say that something is pleasant but the breezy jazz-like sounds of this album is exactly that. If you liked the Koolfang series in particular but might be looking for something more atmospheric then you cant go wrong here. Five tracks each explore the counterpointing of Namlook's synth and occasional sub-bass with Berger's xylophone (I know its not called that but I cant remember the name for the wooden variant). This sounds like cheese personified perhaps but the album is 'serious' throughout with the title track working up a more danceable rhythm to good effect with bass, guitars and Berger's intricate playing. In a short while I have listened to it several times and get more from each listening.

(review by Rowland Atkinson)

Five freestyle tunes by one of the world's most prolific electronic musicians working with the famous vibes player Karl Berger. I'm just recently opening up to jazz, so this disc was a good purchase for me. This and Conjoint from David Moufang's label often get played just after dinnertime, and they seem appropriate for that kind of mood. Polytime presents a new direction for Fax releases: wholesome, genuine lounge and jazz with the electronics held at bay about 40% of the time. Not really something you absolutely must hear, but definitely a welcome change.

Worldwide Roaming: The intro track. Synth theme opener, backing chords, and a trademark synth solo by Namlook. About halfway through, some rambunctious drums drop by. Also includes a nice guitar solo.

Insight: Starts with about five and half minutes of vibraphone playing, then the synth theme from the 1st track is reintroduced, and new background chord layouts are brought up and the vibes continue. Overall, a gentle track which evokes a slow jazzy atmosphere. A well-shaped song. It takes several turns without losing the theme, and each section leads smoothly into the next. The 60's organ from Jet Chamber III is also present.

Polytime: The title track is for funk lovers. A wah-wah riff enhances straight up jazz guitar. If you were to listen to this without knowing anything about it, Fax might be the furthest thing from your mind. But then again, there are a few clues. Another guitar solo, this time a bit more active.

Tina: It's too bad that my favorite track on this disc also happens to be the shortest, at just under 6 minutes. In 3 parts, the track begins with some great solo acoustic bass work, much like the Dark Side of the Moog IV track 6. Very deep and evocative. A short pause, and then the synth takes its turn. A warbling wave jumps up the scale and pitchflips to different notes. Finally, the wave falls silent and a spacious bass guitar takes the spotlight. Reminds me somewhat of the really nice guitar sections on Jet Chamber IV. The texture of the strings is similar to the theme initiated in track 1. Conjures a blissful, almost melancholic feeling. Floydian to the max.

True Blue: The track will do well with anyone who likes the Twin Peaks kind of jazz. It's a slow tempo track complete with bass, vibes, and some light pseudo-jazz brush sequences. Some drums make a momentary appearance about 3/4 through it, as does some classic sounding distant slide guitar.

(review by no@h)


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