Bleak 1999 is a historical document of minimal techno, referencing from its opening chords and depressed tempo the pathos of Plastikman’s Consumed, an overwhelming heaviness of being that, for the most part, was shunned by critics, signalling the death knell of minimalism and its sparse questioning of techno’s shotgun marriage with rave culture. Given the negativity of 1999 and its ill-formed critique of inquisitive and emotional moves by the underground practitioners of experimental-leaning electronic music, Jirku’s Bleak 1999 couldn’t have been released at a better time. When Thomas Brinkmann reformulated Plastikman’s Conceptual ashes, adding a playful, acidic funk to the silence, he chose to leave half-buried the unassimilable elements: the somber tred of speaker casualties, the sobriety of sinewave masochism, the mindfuck of high volume sadism. It is with all the sweet charm of a gravedigger that Jirku sifts through his own psychoarcheology of minimalism’s past, remapping our memory as the tomb of the present. In 2003, the dusky grit of roughshod glitches over low hums and pulses slowly pace, back and forth, over beats of a dub tempo, yet bearing none of the conventions of dub’s over-appropriated echo-response. In 2003 we are led back to 1999, that apocalyptic year of dot-com bubbling. The triggers of memory aside, Jirku’s album suffers from his usual weaknesses: a stock beat and often, monogamous percussion. But what drifts forth as unique are the drones and the textures, the sediments weaving layer upon layer of drifting palor, the high ambient paths weighted by their earthly embodiment in the soil of history. Bleak 1999 is a memorial to what has been and what is now today, which makes its intrigue every bit a byte from the future.