Nuremberg-born, Paris-adopted electronica artist Jürgen Heckel released his first full-length as Sogar on 12k in 2001. The follow-up, Stengel, is the French label List's first artist release (the compilation Minima-List preceded it). It sees Sogar take a slightly more melodious path. The music remains a glitch-based, multi-layered affair, but filtering through the interlocking processes is a faint tune. The 60-minute album features 12 tracks seguing like one continuous session. Whether this is carefully composed or improvised is hard to tell. It sure feels like the latter, especially since there are moments of hesitation before the music veers into a new direction (usually the exact moment where the index changes on the CD player). Yet the music flows rather effortlessly to provide an enjoyable hour of chilled, intelligent constructions. The noisy buildup in track ten is efficiently calculated, introducing just the right amount of instability at the right time. The listener wonders for a couple of minutes if the remainder of the disc will continue in that direction, as the established mood gets seriously threatened. When things come back to "normal," they sound all the more soothing. Heckel's computer wizardry compares to the best in the field and his music has a soul, which is not all that common. But it also stays within the established boundaries of the glitch/IDM genre, evoking the usual paradigm of artists (Autechre, Boards of Canada, Taylor Dupree).
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