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  3D Concepts  
  Miles Tilmann  
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2003 was a busy year for Mr. Miles Tilmann. He had three releases and toured the US during the swummer. This is the first of his 2003 releases, and it sets a very nice low-tempoed start to his work this year. I have already reviewed his second release, the Sub:002 7" on Sub:marine Records from Atlanta, so you might want to read that review next, in order to see the progression. Or not -- your pick.

This 12" came out on Toytronic Records, and the vinyl tells me nothing about the label. The packing is obscenely minimal -- a clear plastic sleeve with only song titles and the name of the artist printed on the label. No speed or anything (i have stuck with 33 RPM because that speed really worked for me. At 45 this music just sounds silly....) However, the vinyl is a very pretty translucent red and grey mottled color. I dunno how much you can tell in that little picture above, but it's really nice. So, good, if mysterious, work from Toytronic Records.

There are 6 songs here, let me examine each briefly.

Side 1 starts with Middle Fields. This is a song of low synth tones that swell up and get really big in the middle. OTherwise, it sort of burbles along lightly. The middle piece on side 1 is called The Big Swim, and it is one of the few pieces with a really prominent beat on this release. It features a nice, spastic IDM beat, but even that gets lost in the sci-fi synth tones. This piece reminds me of Aphex Twin remixing early Tangerine Dream (when T.D. were spaced out prog -- before they turned New Age.) It's a nice tune. It fades into Through the Tubes, which has crunchy Boards of Canada-esque beats and synths. This song reminds me of Tilmann's work on his Underalnd EP, and it flows in nice continuity with that previous release.

Flipping the record over, it continues pretty much in the same vein with Particle 3. The beat here is something off of a staticy old record (a type of sample which, when i hear it on a vinyl release, always prompts me to clean the needle on my player.) It is the low organ drone and the light synth tones that make this song work, and which build up a fair amount of volume out of such simple elements. It ends fairly abruptly, and Smallest Flame takes over. This is a great classical ambient tune build up out of layers of keyboard drones. Very nice, in an Eno-esque sort of way. Tilmann wraps up side 2 with Midpoint, which is that same luscious ambience, only done with a faint hiss of static and a hint of glitch in the beats. It drifts off slowly, a fine end to a mellow EP.

Overall this is a nice, mellower, less grating, IDM release. Tilmann does this stuff very well, and if you are a fan of Ulrich Schnauss or Boards of Canada or Pub, then this is a fine release to check out.

Related Links:

Sub:702, Tilmann's second release of 2003.
Underland, a 2001 EP by Miles Tilmann also released on Sub:Marine.


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