Jan St. Werner: Miscontinuum Album (Thrill Jockey, 2015)

January 17, 2015 at 4:21 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Jan St. Werner: Miscontinuum Album

Jan St. Werner: Miscontinuum Album

Newest release from one of the founders of Mouse On Mars. This album features spoken word poetry/narration (on the intro, outro and “scene” tracks) by Dylan Carlson (of Earth) and has more of a minimalist opera feel to it. I’m thinking Robert Ashley. Markus Popp (of Oval) wrote the text Carlson is reading, and in some places the album feels like a Microstoria (his project with St. Werner) reunion, but it goes far beyond that too. Taigen Kawabe from Bo Ningen is all over this providing strange vocalizations and screams. “Cervo” has all sorts of Autotune-like vocal manipulations, which MoM have been doing for years, but this takes them into a more experimental context. No dance beats or pop deconstructions here. “Repedron” has lots of harsh metal shrieking over minimalist electronics. Surrounding the minute-long outro are two very long pieces, the 16-minute “Schwazade” and 25-minute “Amazonas”, which easily take up more than half the album’s length, and consist of more waves of minimalist electronics and wordless (or at least non-English) vocals. “Amazonas” might actually be the brightest and most melodic track on here, with the technological sheen of its synthesized sounds coming close to imitating orchestral instruments at some points, but also going far beyond anything acoustic instruments are able to produce.


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