Frank Bretschneider


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Frank Bretschneider's Rand takes the oft-minimalist sounds of Germany's Mille Plateaux a bit farther towards nothingness than they traditionally go. The East German artist lays down 20 tracks of quiet, twinkling sounds in an amazing display of carefully organized symmetry, with the occasional rumble or pulse of bass accompanying the highly ordered sounds. Since there are 20 songs crammed onto this album, none of them last for more than a few minutes, presenting the listener with a wide range of song ideas that range from the vast spaciousness of the first few songs to the near technoness of the later tracks. Anyone with an ear for subtle sounds glimmering with delicacy will savor this album, but most listeners coming from the percussive field of techno, the pounding maelstrom of drum'n'bass, or the rhythmic realm of house will find themselves continually turning up the volume, wondering if they're missing something: there is no percussion, no ambient strings, no synths, few bass pulses, little to no static, only the occasional clicks or cuts, and little else. Songs such as "Mark" and "Pin" that integrate bass frequencies with the glistening clink and twinkle sounds tend to be the more rewarding moments on the otherwise ultra-minimal album.

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