Mark Fell


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Mark Fell is one-half of the U.K. electronic duo SND; here as with SND, he makes glitchy electronic music that combines aspects of Ryoji Ikeda, Oval, and Autechre as well as various lesser-known artists on labels like 12k and Raster-Noton. It's glitchy, clicky stuff not particularly suited to dancefloors or headphone listening, as small digital tones leap from one side to the other while a percussion sound like a tiny rubber ball bouncing very fast between two highly polished surfaces repeats endlessly. Some tracks ("Multistability 7-A," "Multistability 10-A") combine synth patterns and digital handclaps in a way that almost approximates the smooth, minimal techno of the Kompakt label, but it's so repetitive and stop-start (at the same time) that actually gaining pleasure from the listening experience is pretty much out of the question. This is less like glitchtronica than it is the hearing tests where the listener is supposed to raise his or her hand when a tone appears in one headphone or the other. It has moments of beauty, but they seem incidental; the disc overall gives the impression of having been created by the software used to make it, for the amusement of an artificial intelligence with tastes far divergent from those of mere humans.

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