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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
A27
rr009 EP
Recycling

Rating: 7.8/10 ?


October 15, 2009
There are moments when A27 sounds relentlessly like the suspect art-DJs one can find spinning at any weekend gallery opening between Barcelona and Berlin--spaced beats joining hips for almost danceable tunes--but the Polish artist distinguishes himself from the chaff of the discotheque with the use of sparsely placed but properly forethought organic samples. This five-track EP (the closing "Z," technically cut six, is a few seconds of static-laden Polish radio sample) opens with "Prof. s_Bastian!" and its digitized vinyl hiss, an undulating vibration that nods to the evening rustle of cicadas now on the wane as summer is overcome by autumn. Haltingly at first, the track rifles through some vaguely industrial (as in commerce, not genre) clicks and clanks before what would otherwise be an overwhelmingly cold and isolating murk of low drones and shattered beats is warmed up a smidge by the light teasing of a trumpet sample.

The EP's third cut, "W moim mózgu," begins inside a diving bell a couple of leagues under the sea before gathering a head of steam and winding up sounding like a fanciful blenderization of samples culled from arty, high-end pornography soundtracks, maybe a loop from the Bonus Features menu on Steven Soderbergh's The Girlfriend Experience. The following cut, "Orrr-x," the most optimistic and danceable number, wavers between the plinky jazz-cum-electronic keyboard/guitar compositions that the DMS duo once constructed, and the ominous minimalism of conspiracy theory soundtracks, but with the giddy-up of a jungle beat aprčs a handful of Quaaludes.

If you jammed Labradford's languid Fixed:Content into the sharp edges of that Palac Ghosts album from last fall, you'd land in the vicinity of A27. Fans of the regular offerings of the Kranky, Minus, or Kompakt labels will find this EP tasty but too short to find a home anywhere but an iTunes playlist, perhaps alongside Sutekh and Trentemřller. Those not deeply entrenched in the laptop or minimalist techno scenes might find this morsel a good place to start nibbling, and anyone familiar with the influences of more traditional names like Aphex Twin, Squarepusher and their ilk will find A27 easy to swallow, especially considering Recycling Records is offering it as a free download.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth

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