May 28, 2009

Jan Jelinek Avec The Exposures - La Nouvelle Pauvreté (2003, ~scape)

Jan Jelinek has been releasing a steady stream of excellent glitchy house-inspired ambient material on ~Scape and Klang Elektronik since the late '90s under his own name as well as the alias Farben. Many of his albums have received critical acclaim and showed up on "best of the year" lists for their innovations in sampling texture wizardy. Jelinek's aesthetic is recycling and hacking up old loops and samples from fuzzy jazz records (hence the title of his first ~Scape full-length "Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records"), and piecing them back together to create micro-house and trip-hop rhythms. The name of the game is abstraction, with lots of futuristic DSP processing and granular mushing of samples, yet always creating a very listen-able, often laid-back groove. Vinyl static and buzzy warmth permeates the recordings, creating a timeless organic feel amongst the digital effects. I especially enjoyed Jelinek's releases subtitled "Avec Les Exposures", which seems to be an imaginary band, contextualizing his sound into a slightly (if *very* slightly) more song-form style. Some samples that make more reference to '60s and '70s pop music as well as lounge rhythms find their way into the mix, drifting away from the jazz vibe into fuzzy pop abstraction. Following "La Nouvelle Pauvrete", a collection of Exposures out-takes was released, continuing in a more down-tempo style. In '05, Jelinek released the fantastic "Kosmicher Pitch" which took his looping style and applied it to the noise textures and effects of '70s kraut rock material, resulting in very heady psychedelic vibes. Jelinek's Farben material is also top-notch and worth seeking out as an excellent example of late '90s "clicks'n'cuts"-style techno and downtempo.