Andreas Tilliander's debut release for Mille Plateaux, Ljud, embraces the spirit of the early-2000s glitch movement yet eschews the traditional approach. Rather than root his tracks in techno or IDM, the producer draws from a less likely well of influence, inflecting his rhythms with swollen dub basslines, punchy hip-hop beats, and off-kilter drum'n'bass melding. These influences had crept into Tilliander's previous underground releases, but here he delivers a considered full-length work. The ten untitled tracks are most likely untitled for a reason -- presumably because the producer views them as parts of a whole rather than as individual works. They certainly sound as if they are ten different variations on a single theme, that theme being the overall style of this album. The similarities from track to track are no doubt oblique yet still somewhat evident: obtuse rhythms composed of the aforementioned inflected elements; languid storms of glitchy ambience swirling above these clumsy rhythms; an uncomfortable tension resulting from the lumbering rhythms and the skittering ambience; and sprawling track lengths that plod on for six or so minutes of unnerving bliss. Really, though, it's a struggle to confine Tilliander's style here to mere figurative rhetoric. Like many of the visionary producers within the Force Inc family of labels that includes Mille Plateaux -- Vladislav Delay, Tim Hecker, and Ekkehard Ehlers quickly come to mind -- Tilliander conjures unimaginable sounds from his computer and layers them in unimaginable ways. You may be able to induce a slight debt to dub, hip-hop, and drum'n'bass as mentioned earlier, but it's the affective sum of these elements that is most vital. There's a significant tension at play -- a push and pull between the rhythms and the ambience -- and it's this gently off-putting sense that makes Ljud so unique in an era when most producers strive for over-produced perfection. Like the cover art, which depicts four slightly arched lines that near one another but never quite touch, Tilliander's work here explores incongruence and finds significant anomalous beauty there, beauty that somehow is remarkably ingenious and sensory at once.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier