REVIEWS – Unterm Rad: The Rake’s Progress
Connexion Bizarre – One of the first few releases on the now up-and-coming US-based Tympanik Audio. This obscure project from Mike Slansky glitches into life and crawls out of its cocoon slowly, much like an insect taking its first few frail steps, trying not to lose its footing as it grasps its first glimpse of the world.
“The Rake’s Progress” is an unusual creature, one that gently oozes into the idea of getting on with things rather than showing much gusto for the proceedings. It’s really a refreshing change from the usual assortment of albums out there that just want to kick you in the face from the off. The main consensus of this release is to get that lack of pace and roll with it.
Slansky’s lack of beat orientation (apart from track two, “Sick”) leaves the majority of the work up to glitches. Granted, these are tied up into solid loops so that you don’t completely go down the road of pointless noises and vague ambient blips, or even musique concrète (which would be a shambles). This, while being masterfully done, narrows his audience down a notch and might not be to everyone’s tastes. However, this is a wonderfully experimental release and has the added bonus towards the end of a fair few remixes that add a new level to the journey, giving the tracks some essential edges that a few listeners out there may be craving for midway through the proceedings. — Tony Young [7/10]
Chain DLK – Difficult, quite difficult release from the Chicago Heights-based Tympanik Audio label. I know that Experimental-Electronica can take a quite strange course, which seldom follows and satisfies your typically listening experiences. That’s something which fits on this solo-project of Mike Slansky, who stands behind this mysterious project with the German title. Mike is also known with some different other projects like REKT and AURAL and through some contributions for TEXTBEAK. Described with polemic, the music of UNTERM RAD is a sort of minimal and fragmented D’n’B-IDM/Electronica which mostly avoids any straight structures, with the both exceptions “Sick” and “On The Brink”. 9 original tracks plus 7 remix contributions by acts like SYMMETRICAL SYNDROME, ATOMATIK 13 (whose member Alex Stilts has helped out with some additional programming…), DREAMS ARE MAPS or TEXTBEAK are featured on here. Personally I miss something which adds “ground”, something on which I could use the term “remarkable” in the music of UNTERM RAD. I hear and recognize the unique kind in Mike’s very personal sound, but at least it includes nothing interesting I would be able to remember 2 hours after another useless try to pick up the content of this album. – Reviewed by Marc Tater [2.5/5]