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anthony rother
psi49net   2002
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album rating: 3

submitted by anton on 24-Aug-2002

i remember listening to just the outtakes from this album, and never fully appreciating it - it turns out one has to listen to at least a few minutes in a row to start feeling its slowly building textures. rother's deep hypnotic techno with cold melodic touch of electro, with smooth minimal tunes that possess just the right amount of catchiness, mixed with a few very cool vocoded effects and robotic stiffness of percussion - all of it undoubtedly brings back the days of early electro. the music grows slowly, capturing you with its dark elegant simplicity - as the time goes by, you get used to its subtle synths and precisely measured tension of keyboard lines.

sexy, distant, robotic coolness - reciting verses in a monotone (I think my vocoder obsession has made a full circle - from fascination in the days of old-school ebm, to complete denial in idm, and finally back - in this almost kitsch form). precise minimalism and energy of gradually building electro beats is all the more impressive since it is intentionally stripped-down, tightly controlled - allowing itself only a few very refined emotions. a tiny key progression, a short streak of a synthline, a miniscule variation of a beat pattern - every little change acquires a paramount significance to the point where your whole self is aligned with the music, completely identifying with it - you are so in tune with it, so sensitive to everything, that just a smallest new analog sound is capable of causing an avalanche of emotion.

it might be rooted in the same genre as solvent, bochum welt or even legowelt, but rother does not allow himself any sentimental sweetness or slutty glamour that those projects gravitate to - "hacker" is hard-hitting and minimal, but unlike some earlier rother's work, it has a punch, a mesmerizing bass-heavy atmosphere. if you were waiting to embrace electro as a genre, reluctantly viewing it as just another trend similar to synthpop, this might be your chance to finally "get" it.

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