Jan Jelinek

Kosmischer Pitch

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Following 2003's slinky and sporadically seedy La Nouvelle Pauvreté, Kosmischer Pitch shifts Jan Jelinek's view away from his past conceptual springboards -- soul, funk, disco, jazz, folk, pop -- and onto the mind-expanding rock music made in the '70s by his German elders. The producer's whim, as usual, won't be perceptible to those who aren't familiar with his output. Guitars are looped and treated into amorphous webs, vibraphone notes are drawn into smears, spare percussive pieces are decomposed into creaks and rattles. The album's rhythmic sense is typically left to the textural loops, while tender throbs and thrums make discreet appearances -- so it doesn't have the immediacy of Jelinek's Farben tracks, but the mesmeric constructions can worm throughout your head when allowed. The album plays out more like a series of movements than a number of well-sequenced tracks, with "Im Diskodickicht"'s swarming psych-disco bubbling up from "Lemminge und Lurchen Inc."'s vibraphone bog, and "Lithiummelodie 1"'s guitar palpitations melting into "Planeten in Halbtrauer"'s guitar lamentations. At times, the album's sentiments come closer to mirroring that of David Axelrod's Earth Rot than anything by Ash Ra Tempel or Amon Düül, and certainly nothing resembles the insistent pulse of Neu! or Kraftwerk. Rather than acting as a soundtrack for careening down a freshly paved freeway (and caressing a smooth steering wheel), Kosmischer Pitch seems customized for a walk through a marshland that's on the brink of drying up (and examining a patch of moss as if no one will ever see anything like it again). In more ways than one, Jelinek has made some of the earthiest music imaginable out of radically reshaped sources. For the seventh consecutive year, he remains the championship belt holder in electronic music's home-listening division. His identity lurks somewhere within everything he does, yet everything he does is either partially or completely novel.

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