Jetone

Ultramarin

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

If Jetone's release from the previous year, Autumnumonia, proved that he was an up-and-coming talent in the suddenly ballooning glitch techno scene, Ultramarin certainly signals his status as one of the movement's leaders. Producer Tim Hecker has positioned himself to be somewhat of a crossover artist with this album. He looks to the noise-crazed aesthetic of the Tigerbeat6 sound while also looking to the more melodic ambient techno sound that had long been a staple of Mille Plateaux. This synthesis isn't exactly new since Kid 606 essentially set the precedent for ambient glitch nearly a year earlier with P.S. I Love You, but Hecker takes a slightly different approach. He not only marries glitch to ambient soundscapes but also puts a heavy emphasis on thumping beats -- not deep dub beats but standard 909-like beats that slam rather than swell. It's a nice balance that figures into nearly every song on the album: an underlying 4/4 beat to groove to, a hovering sense of ambience for texture, and a subtle yet ubiquitous layer of noise to provide a sense of disharmonious tension. And while this is no doubt a nice template, it's perhaps Hecker's sense of continuity that makes this album such a standout. While many of his peers can piece together amazing tracks, few are able to craft an album that flows from one track to the next with little interruption. And even more commendable than that is the way Hecker somehow manages to feature an exceptional amount of variety -- every track here is unique and memorable in its own characteristic way, some heavy on the beats, others hazy and soothing. It's the paradoxical nature of this album that makes it such a noteworthy release. Hecker balances noise and melody, ambience and beats, as well as continuity and variety. As a result, this album will appeal to numerous crowds who will be able to appreciate this album's many merits.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
6:09
2
3:45
3
5:55
4
3:15
5
5:47
6
5:55
7
4:08
8
2:31
9
4:45
10
5:37
11
3:30
12
5:48
blue highlight denotes track pick