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Music

Various Artists

microscopic sound

(Caipirinha)

Wow, it may take a few listens to get your head around this record, but it’s really worth the effort. Sounding like virtually nothing you’ve heard before in a musical setting, the tracks on this new Caipirinha release are billed as “experimental post-techno.” What that really means is that this stuff achieves what techno never actually did—completely stripping away all elements of traditional song structure and the cult of pop star celebrity.


The new sound springs from Germany’s Rastermusic/Noton collective and is computer-constructed, but not for the dancefloor, and explores the subtleties of sound and synthesis. If this all sounds overly intellectual, not to worry, the musically adventurous will find much to appreciate, though you may not always be sure the sounds you’re hearing are coming from your CD player. Noto’s “crystal.s2” sounds rather like a sprinkler system on a respirator, while Ryoji Ikeda’s “zero degrees 3” might make you think there’s air coming out of your bicycle tires. What’s surprising is this stuff actually works as music, especially if you could use a really good chill-out.

Rating:

Sarah Zupko founded PopMatters, one of the largest independent cultural criticism magazines on the web, back in the Internet's early days of 1999. Zupko is a former Executive Producer for Tribune Media Services, the media syndication arm of the Tribune Company, and a 10-year veteran of Tribune. Her other pursuits involve writing historical fiction and research in the fields of Slavic and German history, as well as general European cultural and intellectual history. Zupko studied musicology, film, and drama at the University of Chicago and media theory at the University of Texas, where she received her M.A.


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