By Pass Kill

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Shabotinski involves many prominent players, and is co-led by Viennese improv heavyweights Werner Dafeldecker and Christoph Kurzmann. But this isn't an improv venture. You'll need to study the foldout sleeve artwork to understand (B)YPASS (K)ILL's involved network of interrelations. Musical "nodes," including guitarist Burkhard Stangl, drummer Mex Wolfsteiner, analog-synth player Thomas Lehn, and trumpeter Richard Klammer, supply sounds that are fed into Shabotinski's operative core of computers, manned by the production team of Dafeldecker and Kurzmann. Assuming the shadowy uber-identity of Shabotinski, they work an assortment of sounds more suited for concert halls into faceless electronic music.

Shabotinski's machinery churns out glittering glitch-tronic matrices ("Rueckenwind," "Lebanese Talk"), fragments of song--sometimes featuring the computer-processed mumble of an unnamed vocalist--or odd, unstable hybrids of the two ("Chainsaw City," "Ostermayer"). Though many of the instrumental motifs are traceable, (B)YPASS (K)ILL ultimately bears only the production mark of Shabotinski. It's an interesting metaphor for the highest tiers of the recording industry, where anonymous production and packaging strips--or reassigns--all traces of ego from the actual musical performance.

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