Lithops

Mound Magnet, Pt. 2: Elevations Above Sea Level

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Further collecting the sound experiments Jan St. Werner likes to work with on his own as Lithops, Mound Magnet, Pt. 2 feels more like a dog's breakfast of randomness than anything else, but then again that's part of the charm. There are no surprises per se in the wide-ranging mix-and-match styles on offer, from mid-20th century vocal harmonies to exotica and '80s dancefloor, but anyone interested in St. Werner's general sonic approach to things will enjoy what's here, even if much of it passes by without leaving a lasting impact. A good example of that tendency can be heard in "Roctrum," which begins with distortion glitch that, on the one hand, sounds familiar and even set in its ways, but is also playful and weird, like a kind of '90s that didn't end. "Bleasure Pastique," in comparison, has more memorable heft, an utter '80s homage with stabs of sound and rolling electro-punch beats that suggest Ronald Reagan's second term in office over his first. The song title that summarizes the random play at work is "A Generation Without Context," while the tune itself goes the beat-shuffled randomization route, low moans arcing in and around the percussion to striking effect. If on the downside other songs like "Serendippo 4" and "Baliation" are enjoyable but perhaps too reminiscent of his past work overall to stand out, all it takes for St. Werner to really leave a mark is a song like "Rosa in a Light Speed Vessel." Brawling and weird, it's almost a tribute to Coil in their own high dancefloor phase, all sorts of sonic twists and whines set against clipped guitar stabs and beats.

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