V/A, Clicks_+_Cuts

Mille Plateaux Records
Released: 2000

Minimalist music is music that is barely there--music that usually repeats simple, bare-bones rhythms and melodies until they have exhausted both the listener and the artist. This type of music is certainly popular among some, but I'm usually bored after the first few songs. However, Mille Plateaux's Clicks_+_Cuts offers a different, more interesting roadmap for this genre. Following the lead of Pole (aka Stefan Betke), the diverse artists that contribute to this 2 CD collection have managed to make minimal music that both retains the trademarks of the minimal school and offers new avenues for experimentation. In other words, this album retains the repetition of minimalism, but incorporates into this repetition new and unusual sounds, odd time signatures, and even some interesting song structures. If you have heard Pole's first album, then you'll have a sense of what to expect here--a plethora of (as the title suggests) CGD clicks and cuts, static, looped samples, dub effects, hot, medium and cold programmed drum and synth patterns, and a whole host of other, interesting sounds. Dettinger's "Strange Fruit," for example, starts with clicks and flanged bubble synth sounds, which meld into a backwards rhythm (clicks now in the background) that slowly builds into a larger, forward-moving 303 rhythm. That rhythm expands and does weird things with rhythm manipulation and time signatures, then abruptly stops. This music is challenging, unusual, and original. It's great fun, too, which is something I usually don't say about minimalism.

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