Here's a short but sweet package: M, a three-track EP released by British netlabel Minordust, is full of aural goodness for chillout and minimal fans alike.
Tobias Lorsbach, alias Keinzweiter, must be one of those strange beings who haunt record shops, working their fingers to the bone as they search for a rare vinyl cut, taking home nothing but the choicest grooves - only to disregard everything on them apart from the dusty crackles between the tracks. This perverse discard-the-fruit-but-keep-the-peel attitude is especially evident on the first track, Magnolia, where close-up pops and crackles are spliced with field recordings and slotted into a cool rhythm to the accompaniment of slowly alternating cool chords. A jazzy hi-hat drops in to keep things ticking along until Keinzweiter, unable to resist displaying his production chops, plays with its pitch and filtering. Like the other two tracks, Magnolia is ostensibly a restrained exploration of "noises off" and clicks 'n' cuts, but if you turn the volume up your cranium will belatedly discover that the rest of you is sitting on the washing machine and enjoying the spin cycle. See what you think:
Now you know what to expect - namely pops, crackles, a dash of jazz topped off with field recordings and nougaty vinyl static - you can relax, safe in the knowledge that you're now trendier than everyone else in your social circle. Put that hand-mirror down. Things get even funkier with Mircoobee, wherein a swinging jazz drum rhythm kicks off a beautiful minimal–techhouse track. Speaking of jazz/be-bop, who'd have thought, back in the '50s, that music production would advance so far that a talented producer like Keinzweiter could add myriad rhythmic clicks 'n' cuts to a fast drum beat without swamping it? Take any ten seconds from this and count the number of things going on: there's echoing conversations, crackles, synth embellishments, a bumping bass, the aforementioned jazz drumming, a lovely high-pitched synth run, and numerous tics and pops, yet they all blend together perfectly in a light stew that instantly makes Mainz, where Keinzweiter has his Batcave, one of the cooler places in Germany. Oh, all right. You all know you can twist me round your little finger:
Now, off to bed with you, stopping only to give Moriaan a goodnight kiss. Let the adults dance to its funky and cheerful style. No, you can't stop to listen to its upbeat crackly goodness. And don't poke your tongue at me, you young scamp.
M is a free Creative Commons-licensed taster of a talented electronica artist. Should you wish to hear more of Keinzweiter's stuff, his new album Globus Cassus is now available for free (at an ear-shreddingly low 128 Kbps) from spontanMusik netlabel or you can buy it (at an ear-caressingly high 320 Kbps) from Beatport. My thanks to Mike Gregoire of Blocsonic for releasing netBloc Vol. 22, Life On Ceres, where I first heard Mircoobee. By the way, Vol. 23 is out today and it's utterly free, hipsters. Yes, I'm good. Daddy loves you too. Now run along.
Keinzweiter – M (link to individual files & zipped album - click on the album title when you get there)