Let me just start off by stating that this is
not an easy album to find. Fat Cat is a smallish UK label, so
you will have to look pretty hard to track down a copy of this
release here in The States. So why should you expend the effort?
Well, quite honestly, this is some of the most intersting avantegarde
electronic music that i have heard in quite some time. This
is really wierd and strangely beautiful music. If you like IDM
or laptoptronica in general, then this is something you really
need to try and check out.
It's a 12" (all good electronica should be on vinyl, really),
and Fennesz does one side while Main does the other, and none
of the songs (3 to a side) have titles. I know Fennesz by reputation
as an innovator in the laptop field, but i have never really
heard of Main before. However, both have some interesting ideas.
Fennesz's music is glitch to the extreme: subtle washes of
keyboardy texture wander under skittering beats. There are dozens
of folks doing this kind of stuff (see: Electric
Birds, Jetone, or Christian
Kleine for a sampling of some recent reviews in this genre),
but Fennesz seems to be among the best. His music is almost
ambient, and his keyboardy textures are as lush as Boards of
Canada in their prime. His music builds a strange tension, it's
not quite relaxing, it doesn't totally fit into the background,
yet it seems to evade consciousness. It is like a half heard
song -- you can't quite make out the melody, but you can tell
it's a good one. And, it seems to me, that is precisely the
point of IDM.
Anyway, i really like the third of the Fennesz tracks -- it's
a lovely little number with some great keyboard work. A fine
example of the genre.
Side 2 of the release brings 3 tracks by the mysterious Main.
The most obvious comparison point for their music is Coil: this
is sludgy industrial electronic noise that it vaguely disturbing.
It's the soundtrack to a documentary about the invasion of Earth
as composed by an alien musician conqueror. Or maybe field recordings
from the huge space factories of the future, in lonely orbit
near Jupiter. Or the soundtrack to Tron's nighmares. It is dark,
vivid, uneasy, and exceedingly well done. I am not so much into
this kind of stuff, but i do think that Main do it well.
So there you go. This is a fascinating release from the underground
of electronica. It's not exactly like anything that you have
heard before, but the reference points (IDM on side A, industrial
noise on side B) are close enough to allow the listener an entry
point into the strange worlds described herein. I know that
this isn't for most people, but if i have piqued your curiosity,
trust me and go try and find a copy.