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Vrs-Mbnt-Pcs 9598 I

 Jochem Paap - Vrs-Mbnt-Pcs 9598 I - PS 08/94
  Release Date: 8 March 1999
  Limitation: 2000

   Un-Klkkn       10.48
   Spk             7.35
   Dtnd-Jn         8.23
   Flm             3.47
   Trpp-Bll        8.16
   Trmml-Dx        8.23
   Mbnt-Plng      16.37

  all tracks written by Jochem Paap

The vowelless titles of this collection from the artist otherwise known as Speedy J are a real treat for lovers of the minimal. I can only heap additional praise on this music to that given by the Wire magazine for one. Some might feel it ties itself too closely, both in sound and title, to the second of the collected works of the Aphex Twin, even if this does suggest a good pedigree. What we find here are some of the most detailed and occasionally dazzlingly beautiful music. The closeness to the morphing and dreamlike structures of Aphex's second ambient collection are striking but soon take a back seat; you quickly realize that a lot of thought and time has gone into the construction of these tracks. Ill pick on a couple of tracks by way of illustration of why I like the music here so much. We open with Un-Klkkn a warm glowing sound wavers and shimmers for sometime before a clearer but not intrusive theme punctuates it. An occasional and more bass-filled ditty plays reminding us that we are not in a dream, even if we might like to be. Trpp-Bll hypnotizes with what sounds like somebody running an object round the edge of a giant upturned Tibetan bell to produce a pulsing and meditative sound. After some time a transfixing shimmering haze begins to flow into the music almost as if some kind of heavenly host had appeared in the sky - the effect is almost overpowering when played at a moderate to high volume. Mbnt-Plng clocks in at just over one quarter of an hour but remains, for me, one of the most joyous and utterly engaging track Ive heard in some time. A very simple bouncing theme repeats itself endlessly but is gradually built upon and echoes added as it proceeds. Although ultimately low-key it somehow sounds very childlike and, if you turn it up a little bit, you can hear a warm generator-like sound in the background which gives an added spatial quality to the music. As the track progresses your attention fades in and out and you begin to realize that the pattern is subtly changing into something slower and way different from where we started fifteen minutes ago. Beatless tracks are out of favour with me on the whole but this music is so remarkable and attention grabbing that I would recommend it very highly to anyone who wants to escape for an hour.

(review by Rowland Atkinson)


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