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2008-05-28

Lithops - Mound Magnet Pt. 2

new Lithops record (Mound Magnet Pt. 2: Elevations Above Sea Level) out on sonig on limited edition vinyl in june 2008. CD out on killer pimp, USA. check pitchfork for review and prelistening. already availbale on itunes us & fina music.


"Elevations above Sea Level" is the second Mound Magnet part from Lithops aka Jan St Werner, 1/2 of the prolific duo Mouse on Mars, 1/3 of last year's surprise collaboration "Von Südenfed" with the Fall's Mark E Smith and 1/2 of the dsp group Microstoria. Though he is a prolific producer he seems to have a fascination with rollover dates (he cancelled mostly every Lithops gig in the last 5 years) does that spill into a fascination with cycles of nature? No! Actually he's more interested in the cycling by man-made machines, as expressed in the Mound Magent sequel. "Elevations above Sea Level" gives us aural diagrams of a large, hypermodern cities with futuristic vehicles moving around. The electrical ticking of fluorescent advertising panels, a thwappy airiness of the ventilation system, the rattles of trains and chopped up hums of distant roads, the mechanical groans that maintenance machinery starts up with, rain drumming on the stretched glass roofs of urban malls, the howling groans of motorcycles on city highways. It's not an ambient record by any means, nor is it purely musique concrete. It's rather an acid fulled hallucination of how to detect an idea of the future in the noises that surround us. Though he uses some of the sound editing methods like his contemporaries (and his own other groups), this doesn't mass into huge pools to make a statement; the basslines, hums, jolts and whooshes divide and multiply into sections like buildings and streets are divided, from sub-basements to rooftops, alleys and boulevards, by stories. Lithops' narcoleptic programming has a precision which holds the listener completely captive -- difficult, haunting and highly enjoyable. Vinyl limited to 300 copies. Download via fina music, Kompakt, and iTunes.

www.myspace.com/lthps

"Jan St. Werner has been in the public eye in the last year or so for Von Südenfed, the collaboration he and his Mouse on Mars partner Andi Toma have with the Fall's Mark E. Smith. But St. Werner keeps busy and often has several projects going on simultaneously. Musically, the man never stays still; even when he's issuing a sequel, it still feels like the first time. Case in point is his new solo album under his Lithops guise. Though it shares the title Mound Magnet with its predecessor, (this is Part 2, subtitled Elevations Above Sea Level), the feel on the tracks I've heard is looser, sillier, comparatively melodic, and more focused on the driving 4/4. The epic "Rosa in a Light Speed Vessel" has a propulsive beat at its core and everything but the kitchen sink is swirling around it in a cyclone of sound-- stomping guitar chords, sea-sick synth moans, what might be a gradually pitch-shifted sample of a bi-plane's engine. It's a track that makes you feel like you're one step behind it for its entire duration, not quite able to figure out what's going on one moment as it has already moved on to the next."
Mark Richardson, Pitchforkmedia


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