Sutekh, Periods Make Sense

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

Force, Inc./Mille Plateaux
Released: June 2000

I originally put this release on the "Short Cuts" page--meaning that I thought it was a good work, but it wasn't good enough to merit a full review. But I've recently returned to this album, only to find a work so incredibly diverse and intelligent that I was forced to revamp the site and add a full-on review. This work can be compared to Jake Mandell's recent, Quondam Current, not only because they were both released on the German Force Inc. label, but also because each work is attempting to bridge that gap between experimental, avant-garde IDM and dance-oriented techno. In other words, they're trying to create intelligent dance music. Mandell's work is dance music that uses a lot of fractured, fragmented sounds for rhythm and melody--much like Cristian Vogel's Busca Invisibles. Sutekh, on the other hand, isn't creating straight-out dance music; rather, he is fusing a plethora of different styles together to create something that is fundamentally listenable, enjoyable. On this release, you'll hear deep atmospherics, abstract beats, hard-hitting 303 and 909 grooves, found sound weirdness, and everything inbetween. The best part is, it all works--the many different sounds become one, streamlined sound that is a pleasure to listen to. Take tracks 8 and 9, for examples (the tracks are all unnamed). Track 8 starts off slowly, with Pole-like clicks and glitches, before it suddenly builds into a full-fledged pop groove, complete with swashes of 303 bass lines and funky, almost "poppish" grooves that bounce all over the place. It is a simple song, by and large, but there is an undercurrent of glitches and "noise" that, although continually on the edge of the sound, is nevertheless present throughout. Track 9, on the other hand, centers around that "noise." It begins with heavy feedback fuzz and other assorted noisees that rise and fade like a tide (so that, at one point, it will be almost imperceptible, but soon after rises again and envellops you). But emerging out of that feedback is a beautiful, lilting keyboard melody that starts slowly, but builds over the course of the song. Added to this are CGD glitches which are almost invisible amidst the other sounds, but which add texture and depth. So the two songs here, although diametrically opposed in every way, nevertheless retain a consistency of focus--the merging of disparate sound elements. This is a smart, intelligent work for anyone interested in the future of IDM.

Buy the Album
Force Inc. Records
Sutekh Web Page

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