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Dear Painter, Paint Me

Condensed Version

(M_nus; US: 8 Jul 2008; UK: 30 Jun 2008)

Review [19.Aug.2008]

Everyone in the industry is dealing with the unavoidable issue of piracy in their own way. Jack White now refuses to send out advance press promos after a DJ played his latest record in its entirety before its release date. Nine Inch Nails, Saul Williams, and Radiohead launched albums under a loose “pay what you want” structure. Most tragically, the RIAA spends millions of artist earned dollars investigating and suing potential life long customers for a short-term gain.

While most cautious distributors choose to tag their promos with annoying voiceovers that ruin the experience every time, Richie Hawtin’s innovative approach is to issue condensed versions of all Minus releases specially mixed by the artists themselves. As such, the commercially released debut of Jesse Siminski runs about an hour over eight tracks and the version I’m reviewing is one continuous 23 minute file, with one cut from the commercial debut missing entirely.

From what I have to go on, I think the record will be a fine selection of warm, quirky minimal techno. Basslines bubble, often a little on the woozy side, while precise German sounds and well-crafted synths fill out the paranoid production. However, I’m not sure how these tracks actually progress or even which ones I liked, though the press release gives a breakdown of the entire real album (including the track reviewers were not granted access to—gosh, that is sure helpful). Seriously, how am I supposed to recommend or decry a record with any real authority when I’ve only heard a third of it? That awkwardly brings the unknowing reviewer’s ethics into play. Though it’s a progressive idea fundamentally, there isn’t much point in sending these out. You either trust the press or you don’t. Condensed version should be released to the public as a sample, not to those who are going to sell the whole album for you.


Compelled to words by music since 2004, Ranta's words have appeared in such esteemed publications as Exclaim!, Tiny Mix Tapes, CBC Music, and PopMatters. He also regularly votes for the Polaris Music Prize, Village Voice Pazz & Jop, Juno Awards, and in all local, provincial, and federal elections. Based in East Vancouver, he's been known to a rave and/or rant, cat whisper, play basketball, pessimistically root for the Canucks, and read far too many comment sections. He graduated with distinction from SFU in 2012, with a bachelor's degree in music.

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