The genre of Krautrock has always been fascinating to a lot of people (including myself). Julian Cope even wrote a book about it, a must-read for everybody who?s into absurd stories and musical gossip. One of the terms, Cope used most in his book is ?Kosmisch?, standing for a certain state of otherwordliness only reached by the ?mages? as Cope puts it, citing Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser, the freak behind the Kosmische Musik record label.
The music Jan Jelinek presents on his latest effort is certainly not kosmisch, but it?s not supposed to be either. When you look at the cover art (done by H?pna?s Johan Berthling) and read the song titles, you could be misled by the mysterious aura surrounding this CD. At a closer look, a fine irony becomes obvious. ?Lemminge und Lurchen Inc?, the second track on the CD for example seems to hint at Amon D??l II?s 1971 double album ?Tanz der Lemminge? and Guru Guru?s ?Der Elektrolurch.? The title ?Lithiummelodie 1? might have been inspired by ?Kometenmelodie 1 & 2? on Kraftwerk?s 1974 album ?Autobahn.?
Soundwise, Krautrock is not as present on ?Kosmischer Pitch? as one would think. There are no motorik beats, no Faustful of guitar riffs, no Suzukian howls and no moog synthesizer walls. Instead, Jelinek subtly incorporates tiny processed samples (none of which I recognized) into his signature style minimal techno. ?Kosmischer Pitch? is closer to ?Loop Finding Jazz Records? than the more song oriented ?La nouvelle pauvret?.? Just like on ?Loop Finding Jazz Records? or on his ?Texstar? CD as Farben, Jelinek doesn?t use a certain musical genre for analytical reasons. Rather, it is a common thread holding an album together.
There are a lot of highlights on ?Kosmischer Pitch?, especially the sound layered ambiance of ?Lithiummelodie 1? or ?Universal Band Silhouette? with its guitar sample played backwards. Other tunes like ?Planeten im Halbtrauer? or ?Vibraphonspulen? stroll around a little aimlessly though. They?re perfectly structured, but letting loose would probably help. Jelinek?s music always rewards those the most who listen carefully. For those who play it in the background, it might seem a little dull at times. Personally, I was hoping for something tighter, something less loungy. Even though this is an above-average album, the source music would have allowed a more exciting result, especially in the hands of such a gifted producer as Jan Jelinek. 7/10 -- Stephan Bauer (28 June, 2006)