V/A, Artist and Computer

Released: June 2000

This album consists of tracks by artists who took part in an Artist and Computer installation in New York City. Since I know absolutely nothing about the installation, I'll ignore it and focus on the music on this limited edition CD-R. The artists who contribute tracks--almost all of which are exclusive to this CD--include some of the best IDM artists in the US: Lilienthal, Accelera Deck, Fingernail, If Then Else, and Marumari, among others. With a lineup like this, this CD is well worth the $8.99 USD it costs at s://kimo! If you are familiar with any of these artists, the music will not surprise you: lots of CGD swirls and cut-up beats, some interesting synth variations, and some odd FX. Lilienthal's tracks, including the haunting "Catalytic State," includes all these staples and more, including backwards-looped rhythm tracks; while Accelera Deck's track has a weird, warped synth organ that sounds as if it has been out in the rain for a few days. So, yes, a lot of the sounds here are very familiar to IDM fans. But does that suggest that the music is bad? Not in the least. Most of the songs (with the exception of Gosub's track) take these standard elements--all computer generated, I'd expect, considering the title of the CD--and create interesting, fun, challenging, and rewarding songs that are more than simply stereotypes of what IDM is supposed to be. The best example of this comes with the last track, Marumari's "Parasaling in Paradise," which uses fuzzy, backwards loops and computer-generated effects, and creates an aural picture of movement (specifically, movement on water and in the air), which is as evocative and as beautiful as anything on his recent CD, The Wolves Hollow. Yes, I've heard Marumari create music like this before, but, damn, his music is so good I want to hear everything he comes up with--and it's always interesting and rewarding. And this CD is interesting, rewarding, and a lot of fun!

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