Wow, Berlinâs Karaoke Kalk label has been on a roll recently: I really enjoyed the diverse approaches to beats used by Static and J.R. Plankton, and now Iâm impressed by the new Tolouse Low Trax album, which I find much more interesting than its predecessor, âMask Talkâ. Here, the man behind this solo project, Detlef Weinrich from DĂŒsseldorf, member of industrial mainstays Kreidler, bombards the listener with an intricate array of percussive patterns confronting playful arpeggios. Repeated again and again, those polyrhythmic patterns converge to transporting effect. Call it âhypnoticâ if you must, but strangely Weinrichâs drum computers also ooze funky industrial minimalism, rendering the album too intense for background cafĂ© listening. The Kreidler man clearly knows his Cluster catalogue and he uses it in a good way. âSussingâ and âConpearl Walkerâ are recommended places to start exploring this album. Or âBarkaâ, with its atypical bass pulse and Carpenteresque synth stabs. The former two are wordless, but while âJeidem Fallâ would be very enjoyable as an instrumental album as well (or maybe even more), itâs nice to hear how the vocals are fluttering in the bouncing breeze, as if somebody had hung them up to dry.
If it werenât for those vocals, âJeidem Fallâ â in a modernist move the âiâ is inserted to destroy denotative meaning â would sit well in the recent Raster Noton catalogue. But why the comparisons? Letâs just call this a benchmark album for Karaoke Kalk. The vinyl version contains two tracks less than the cd, but it comes with a download code for the entire thing.