Originally Published in June 2004
Morr Music and Charhizma recording artist, twenty something Vienna-based multi-instrumentalist Fleischmann is no stranger to cross-bending territory where traditional themes are intercut with uptempo glitch and fuzzy overtones (cf “Guided by Beats”). Microfunk-laden tracks give way to pale harmony and German narrative on “02/00”, and Fleischmann permeates his work with lush and dreamy piano and vibes discourse on “Pass By” (otherwise a bit of fluff with rambling tightfisted drumming). There are even moments of Sigur Rós in the forlorn “Grunt.” Welcome Tourist is a vacillating narrative that’s as sonic (“The Blessed”) as it is cute on the Lou Reed-y “Le Désir”, where he sings as proletarian “have you ever tried to reach the sky on a sunny afternoon…we have dreams and we want them to come true”. Disc one falls to “Sleep” with Fleischmann’s awkward vocal about thinking about a sleeping girl, buying milk and bread and other sundry items. Love the line “don’t get me wrong, it’s just a song.” Drowsy travelogue synths graze over a syncopated backing track like a contemporary update of Charles Schultz’s Peanuts theme. Disc two is a single forty-five minute long track, “Take Your Time”. If static’s what you came for, let Fleischmann reshape it for you. The bent buzz and lapping rhythmics open this long player with blurted, bleached, censored art house vocals. Adding some light guitar strumming and the signature piano, which could be excerpted from anything from a Carpenters love song to the latest opus by Mum, and the mix becomes fuller. It’s something of an urban rodeo record, complete with dust and twang, basking in a midday afterglow like there’s no tomorrow, upright fat jazz basslines and all.
TRADITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS OF FEEDBACK
Former drummer for Union Carbide Productions, Henrik Rylander takes his percussive interpretations to task on this absolute blockbuster: Traditional Arrangements of Feedback is the experimental record of the year (so far). Plug it in, tune up and go-go-go. The funk-industrial “Formations of Feedback” proves hard sounds can have beat without dipping into the vestiges of Goth. Göteborg-based Rylander uses the “Repetition” of saw-toothed pulse-beats and a rocking underbelly to form these techno haikus, part Einstürzende Neubauten, part Peaches (sans four-letter words and no hole in the middle), but wholly enormous walls of controlled sound to be reckoned with. Through the fuzz of it all, like collecting individual hair strands of static pulse, Rylander harvests something gem-like, something awkwardly infinite. There’s instant elation when he tools with materials that could easily lead to haphazard mistakes but which make great sound effects, proving that such obstacles can be both overcome and controlled. “Destroyer” sounds like a small digital press with spikes and loose metal objects that have gone awry inside; the mechanism keeps going, pulping what’s in its path, slowly rolling on with the precision of a diecut machine running over the same tracks with a few imperfections along the way. The post-op version of “Warm Leatherette”? No, “Flange” is like one of those giant Lego robots turned into a smiley-faced clown menacing a Mumbleboy video. Massive and graceless and twice as happy as any Avon lady that may have stepped cross your threshold lately.