Radian

TG 11

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Electronic music and the live-band dynamic can make for awkward bedfellows, but Austrian three-piece Radian has hit upon an effective formula. Bassist John Norman and triple-threat drummer-programmer-and-vibraphonist Martin Brandlmayr lay down wiry and wobbly free-sounding rhythms. But Radian's secret ingredient is Stefan Nemeth, who injects the mix with high-frequency digital and analog noise in streams and spurts. The band breaches electronica's digital divide in a show of solid trio musicianship and interactive ingenuity.

TG11 is a fantastic debut album, delivering fully on the promise of 1999's enticing RADIAN EP and evincing an even stronger sense of group rapport. The earsplitting "Moveg" and "Spektr" skirt perilous tripwire mazes of Nemeth's stealthily sown Korg MS 10 electronics. "Sinus 440," "Ucotherm," and "Kadjet" scuttle through particle fields of cavity-clearing kilohertz sirens like arachnid cyber-sentinels. On "Okazaki Fragment," and on the seductively kinky title track, Radian evokes the fearlessness and fluidity of no less a group entity than Can. And the closing "I/E" is truly radiant, sublimating vibe harmonics, sub-bass vibrations, and electronics as a glowing electroacoustic coda.

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