Bis Neun bundles together highlights from the Areal label's first nine releases in the form of a mix from Jan Erik Kaiser. Akin to several other Cologne-based electronic labels, Areal up to this point has been a small community of producers who create minimal house tracks that translate equally to home listening and club floors. For the sake of messy comparison, Areal's sound falls somewhere between Kompakt and Bpitch Control -- though many of the productions are just as exacting and mindbending as the average Kompakt track, they often share the type of noisy tendencies favored by the Bpitch Control massive, and the beats are often as forceful, yet hardly aggressive. Everything aims straight at the hips. Konfekt's "Jez(sof)" is Areal at its best, with buzzing and scraping noises weaving back and forth over a rubbery beat; an escalating Kraftwerk-like melody offsets the non-melodic elements, continually appearing, disappearing, and reappearing several times throughout the track's duration. In Metope's "Lifedriver" (the only vocal track), Ada sings about her crush on an ambulance driver; she's so struck by him that she considers climbing up a tree, just so he'll rescue her and bring her heart back to life. This track swings almost too easily into Metope's "Selvsyn," which acts as a bridge to Basteroid's "Aggrobatik," a track that knocks itself into a lather until an acid bassline comes in and drags it into a sputter before pulling it back into motion. Kaiser presents these tracks as if he knows every little nuance in each one -- the curves, the bends, the folds, the wobbly effects, the occasionally comical globs of noise damage. This being Areal's first CD release, it's bound to give the whole crew some of the attention they deserve.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman