After Andreas Tilliander wooed the international laptop techno scene with Ljud, his debut release as himself, he followed with Elit, a remarkably converse album. Released a year and a half earlier, Ljud had essentially functioned as a seamless whole. The album's ten untitled tracks were nearly interchangeable -- corresponding generally in terms of sound, mood, length, tempo, and disharmony; varying only in terms of structure and intensity. The apparent yet slightly incongruent uniformity of the overall album was analogous to the tracks themselves, which also emitted a slightly incongruent sense. This uncomforting sense of tension -- something is always a bit off, but you can never quite put your finger on it -- eventually became a source of anomalous beauty once you eased yourself into Tilliander's woozy rhythms and recognized their purposeful discord. Elit is different -- its tracks are as incomparable as Ljud's were interchangeable. Here Tilliander showcases an array of different styles, everything from Scandinavian neo-hip-hop ("Duplicity") and morose downbeat-diva glitch ("Rescue Me") to multi-tempoed, zigzagging beat collision ("Kevin Shields") and sedate, ambient haziness ("When Routine Bites Hard"). Furthermore, Tilliander flaunts his diversity with tantalizing brevity, keeping the nine-track Elit under the 50-minute mark. Of course, anyone who adored the oblique panorama of Ljud and all of its enveloping dark beauty will surely find themselves initially at odds with Elit and all of its brazen parading. Yet Tilliander is a man of perplexity if anything, and his music is always well-crafted, if erratic. His numerous one-off compilation offerings testify to his inconsistency, as does his puzzling work as Mokira, and it's this consistent inconsistency that makes his work so captivating. You're never sure of him, but you're always curious, and the sure-footed Elit is filled with amazing curiosities -- all of them remarkably conceived, all of them markedly unique.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier
feat: Jay-Jay Johanson