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Queries

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Lithops

Queries

format: CD | catalogue: sonig 52CD | year: 2006

Since 1997 Jan St. Werner has additionally published under the alias Lithops. The record Scrypt, released in 2003, impresses with its non-linear compositional structures and density in organic sound complexity that until the release of Scrypt had been hard to find in electronic music. It is a very present physical album that successfully bridges velocity and tranquillity, digital sound synthesis and partly modified, partly tangible instruments. This represents a typical exercise in Werner?s oeuvre: the merging of apparently incompatible contrasts. The new release, Queries, seems in comparison almost carelessly light. Immediately the first track, ?Kahn?, carefully opens the door to an album that surprises with subtly bouncing electronica. On Queries you?ll find intuitive rhythms with immediate kick, as well as narrative comical bleeps and clonks. This comes as quite a surprise, considering the predecessor Scrypt manages almost entirely without beats. Apart from Werner?s predilection for contrasting directions, there is a simple explanation for this seeming contrast -- Queries collects unpublished material created between 1995 and 1999, as well as three rare vinyl releases from that era, and is therefore, strictly speaking, not really a subsequent release, but more an enlightening review of a time during which individual sounds established themselves as significant elements in compositions, even though they were rooted neither in pop nor in more serious music. The music on this album moves calmly and relaxed despite its shimmering diversity, and occasionally it is remindful of some kind of electro-acoustic dub. It is particularly delightful to trace the now ten-year old sound aesthetics that sometimes surface in the groovy tangible passages and are as fresh and un-creased as ever. We are happy, and to a certain extent even relieved, to find any sort of music can remain relevant if it is produced with authenticity and an abundance of ideas. After getting really comfortable and cozying up with this electronic entropy, why not dig even deeper into the beautiful harmony of scratching sound layers and subfrequent resonances to finally find a center of sounds beyond all thoughts of style and questions of genre. "a bare, twitching product where grooves and moods are scraped at, traversed, never noodled, just powerfully suggested in a cosmic dub concrète root exploration" brainwashed.com ?Queries is not just interesting to listen to because it puts Jan St. Werner´s solo and band work in a new perspective, but also because it contains some excellent electronic music that sounds as fresh today as it did near ten years ago." digitalisindustries.com