I have typically relegated techno to its rightful place, clubs and trendy boutiques- good for dancing and creating a certain atmosphere? not much else really. Never would I have thought it to able to make the jump to music that one would want to listen to intently... on purpose.
Berlin based Landesvatter is a vanguard of the minimal techno scene. As the definition of minimal techno is debated and the parameters defined, he is making the sounds that spur the chatter. On the surface, LAX is a laid back electronic album with it's fair share of clicks, cuts, and beats, a healthy balance of music for head and for feet, and manages to be just snobby enough to keep the right mix of kids at the party. Building from a basic techno premise, each track provides a more cerebral approach to music making allowing instrumentation and layers to be accentuated instead of settling for simple pounding rhythms. Landesvatter's use of jazz and hip-hop push the music beyond the cold, arms length, 'listen to how much better I am than you' of some electronic music. It is quite fascinating how the line between listening music and dance music is straddled here. One minute you're forced to focus in on a series of unrecognizable sounds as they construct a heavy head space and the next you're free to sway to the looped clicks as they provide a weirdly hypnotic robot beat. There are moments where the music sounds distinctly dated, but the more often than not, LAX is gold. 8/10 -- Chris Jacques (10 July, 2006)