Review

Jeremy Keens, Ampersand Etcetera, no. 2002_8, June 20, 2002

Third in the first series of No Type releases following the overwhelming compilation with which they burst out of cyberspace (see 03 for the compilation, 07 for the other two albums). Oeuf Korrekt (Frédérick Blouin) creates varied techno using obsolete software (Scream Tracker, Impulse Tracker) which creates ‘a kind of sequenced, robotic music devoid of fluff, but often complex and surprising’ (David Turgeon describing the computer music pioneers on the liner notes) and this album collects an overview that David considers important, created since 1995. The liner notes accurately describe the music contained here – the software provides a crisp clean sound, simple sounding elements layered and combined to create meaty beaty big and bouncy tracks which often have a kitschy retro sound that is complex and inventive. Simple melodies remind you of Kraftwerk or YMO and other early purveyors. Longer tracks such as King of the Elephants and A Ride in Elephant City demonstrate Oeuf’s skills – they are both meditations on the thudding techno of hardcore or trance, but through varying the surrounding beats, some finely judged breaks and a sense of playfulness, maintain an interest and intelligence. The mood had been set through Get Binary a futzy melodic piece combining the synth lines with some edge and beats, followed by a slower moody murmuring in We Have Arrived. The album then traverses a number of audiostrategies. There are some fine techno pieces like Pochacco, Byte the Funk, Before Bedtime and Podweek Theme which combine bright melodies (some displaying an eastern influence) with varied beats, taken to an edgy extreme in the fast Taco Fiesta. Another longer track Resem One has more of the choppy beats and breaks, and also tunes which sound quite baroque – Oeuf has quite a nice ear – and ends with an autobahn-ish buzzing. Screw my Samples creates a base of rhythm/melody loops with fragments of different sounds with slow and squelched tones plying over, and samples are taken further in Alright Well Okay where that phrase cycles irregularly through a slow stepping beat and synths, expanding to a short narration later on. Voices appear later in Osaka Commtech Nine, obviously Japanese, looping and sticking, leading to a strongly oriental sound in the second half. The Four Channels seem to be a fairly pedestrian beat, woozy scifi synth, piano and a gritty sound paralleling a synth guitar solo, combining to create complex layers. A contrast between more ambient tones and synths sets up Ruffly as a smooth piece, which encapsulates the balances throughout the album - rhythm/melody, fast/slow, simple/complex – which keep the ears alert where many techno albums slide past. An great collection to complete this first set of releases – No Type has successfully entered non-virtual reality.

… meaty beaty big and bouncy tracks which often have a kitschy retro sound that is complex and inventive.

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