By now the name Tomas Jirku is a well respected one in the field of minimal dance music. His previous 12”s have a strong dance floor sensibility and his concerts are hilarious. His CDs so far showed a more austere side of his work, more intended for home listening. They too use rhythms to quite an extended but are more minimal, working more indepth on sound and colour. Yet, with his new album Bleak 1999 he goes a bit further. The rhythms found here are not just ‘acid’ or ‘techno’ rhythms, but very straight forward bangs with little to none variation. Each of the sixteen tracks here have some sort of rhythm, but they merely carry the piece. The icing on each cake comes from a likewise sober use of synthesized sounds and processed radio transmissions. A somewhat distant, yet quite atmospheric sound is displayed here. Music that seems to be intended to be played at that point of the day when day turns into night: shimmering twilight music, with the lights just turned on, driving by an abandonned industrial site. Maybe a black and white movie, rather then a coloured one. It should be a bit cloudy during that day. Tracks flow into each other here, thus to emphasize the drive by nature of the music. Music that is made in solitude and should be listened in soltitude. Maybe it’s a far cry from Jirku’s partymode, but at least it’s also something to show that he is not a flat character. I guess it’s an album that will upset some of his listeners, but more of the same is always less. To the reasons why it took so long to release it (the title indicates rightly that it was recorded in 1999), I can only guess, but it’s good to see it out, at last.