Snd, Stdio

Michael Heumann The Library Discography Haunted Ink Haunted Ink Review Archive The Inkbottle

Mille Plateaux
Released: 2000

Sheffield's Mat Steel and Mark Fell, aka Snd, are among the most minimalist of the minimal school of electronic music, centered largely around Berlin and such labels as Mille Plateaux and ~scape. Snd contributed an excellent track to the best disk of 2000, Clicks & Cuts, and on this, their second full-length work, take minimalism to that same nebulous world where absolute repetition is paired with hot grooves and interesting sounds. To me, this combination can't be beat. Repetition is, of course, at the heart of all music--it's what makes music music, rather than, say, noise (ask the people at SETI about this). Minimalist music simply takes the idea of repetition and makes it obvious--without any song structures or musical alteration that most musicians uses to mask the sameness of the product they're creating. But what was so revolutionary about Clicks & Cuts and what is so great about stdio is that, once the repetition is unmasked, all that is left is the sound--and the sounds here are fascinating. Lots of digital glitches (aka Pole) filter in and out of the collection, and they act as rhythm; atop these clicked beats are synth washes and esoterically processed loops and found noises that have been ground into their basic elements. In all, this work's seventeen tracks represent some of the most interesting music I've heard in quite a while.

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