Let us posit a guy. For the sake of argument,
we will assume this guy lives in Slovenia. Slovenia.
Just above Italy. No, youíre thinking of Slovakia. Thatís on
the other side of Austria and Hungary. Slovenia is right on
the northeastern Italian border.
No, I have no idea where it came from. I assume it was one
of those countries that just sort of popped up out of nowhere
during the 90s. We had the stock market boom; Europe had countries
popping up willy-nilly.
Look, itís not important. Or maybe it is. I donít really know
how important it is, itís just that for the sake of our little
experiment here weíre going to need to imagine a man living
in Slovenia. His name is Ales. No, with an ess, not an ex. I
donít know. He didnít mention a last name. Wait, thereís a poorly
translated review on his website that says his last name is Uratnik.
So, itís Ales Uratnik. Are we good through this point? Right,
a guy named Ales Uratnik who lives in Slovenia.
Good. This is where it gets weird. Ėer. Weird-er.
Letís say Ales is in Slovenia, and heís a musician. (For kicks
we can say heís a graphic designer as well, but weíre not even
going to try to flush that bit out today.) Heís a Slovenian
musician. He was in bands all throughout the 90s. Metal bands.
Thrash metal. Okay, youíre going to have to work with me here.
Thrash metal was a lot bigger in central Europe than it was
in the States. Alesí band actually played a gig with Motorhead.
I donít care what part of Western Civilization youíre living
in; playing with Lemmy is pretty goddamned cool. Alesí band
was booked to play with Fugazi too, but there was some drama
involving the bassist and they had to cancel that. They were,
apparently, a very good Slovenian thrash metal band.
I canít say for certain how good they were, because Iíve never
actually heard bad Slovenian thrash metal, much less
good Slovenian thrash metal. And to top it all off, Iíve
never heard anything by Alesí particular Slovenian thrash metal
band either, so I really have no clue. But they fucking played
with Motorhead, so there must be something there, right?
Okay, weíre getting off track. This is all setup. Ales doesnít
even play thrash metal any more. No, that was the past. He used
to play thrash metal, but that was so 1995, okay? Now heís an
electronic musician. Right. It plays in with the whole graphic
designer bit, if you see the connection. Computers. Itís all
Okay, so our guy Ales, former thrash metal champ and graduate
of the Lemmy Kilmister school of kick-ass, is now making electronica.
In Slovenia. Right. I told you it was going to get weirder.
Now hereís the kicker:
He sent us a promo.
God, the internet so fucking rocks! We got a promo, from a
former Slovenian thrash metal guy currently releasing D.I.Y.
electronica out of said country, all because we put this silly
little site up a few years ago. How fucking cool is that?! This
promo is called Pilotinstaller. It comes with
a graphics executable too.
Okay, maybe Iím more excited about things like this than you,
the reader, might be. But geez! Iím getting mail from countries
I have to look up on Mapquest. That just giggles me to no end.
And to just ice the cake perfectly, the music is actually pretty
damned interesting. Now, fair warning requires that I point
out that ďinterestingĒ does not necessarily equate with ďpoppyĒ,
ďmelodicĒ or ďeasy to dance toĒ, though elements of the disc
can be described with any of those words except ďpoppy.Ē Of
course, the album also includes live flute performances. And
improvised vocal arrangements by people named Polona Dovzan
and Darja Drobnic. I think I once played a dwarven fighter named
Drobnic, but I digress.
On the whole it is, how to sayÖ otherwise. Itís not what Iíd
call drone. Itís not what Iíd call IDM. Itís not really what
Iíd call electronica or techno. I donít know what to call it,
really. Maybe we should just call it Slovenian, addendum that
it is good and interesting, and leave it at that.
But if we did that we would be failing to mention the Dismemberment
Plan cover. And we really should mention the Dismemberment Plan
cover. Because, you know, itís there, on the album. Track 10.
What Do You Want Me To Say? From Emergency and
I. And it provides a familiar, if also completely alien,
bridge by which to span the gap from wherever you are to Slovenia.
So we really should mention the Dismemberment Plan cover.
So this is what weíre positing here. A Slovenian guy named
Ales Uratnik, formerly of Slovenian thrash metal band that played
with Motorhead, currently making electronica that defies convenient
classification; that defies even my usually convenient centrifuge
analogies. Thatís what weíre dealing with. Track two opens
with a pretty plucked, almost-classical guitar riff. Track 10
is an eye-opening cover of a D-Plan song. Track 11 doesnít sound
completely unlike an update of The Scorpions. You may take it