Tog, a Japanese laptop duo comprised of unidentified musicians, put together An Unacceptable Color from various live recordings from the year 2000. Laptop improvisation has become a popular means of avant-gardist expression, but sometimes it can fail miserably. Tog is not miserable but, considering that this album should contain the best moments from a year's worth of live shows, the listener can't help but feel unsatisfied. The music shifts from minimalist glitch to harsh digital noise. First problem: On the most intense numbers, like "Exhibit A," the music sounds distant, as if recorded with an ambient microphone. It lacks middle frequencies, creating a strange (and displeasing) void. Second problem: although the musicians can manipulate their sound files effectively, they occasionally drop an untreated sample too casually. For example, the quote from Prince's "Kiss" in "Culture Jam" is downright gratuitous. Things do work out for the best at times, especially in "Emergency Landing" and the two parts of "Futuro." More often than not, however, individual efforts (from the bandmembers and their guests on a few tracks) fail to coalesce into something that would be either compelling or challenging. Among heaps of similar records, An Unacceptable Color will get buried quickly.
AllMusic Review by François Couture