Re: - Mnant
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Re:
Mnant

This is one of those discs where if you base the whole experience on the opening track of "scue," you're not going to get much out of it. I'll admit that when I put in the disc and cranked it up and was greeted with an almost pummeling array of repeating electronic tones, I immediately turned down the stereo, then wondered just how long it would go on for before skipping to the next track. As it turns out, that opening track runs for just about a minute and three quarters before it finally pulses itself out at the end and into another pulsing tone. After hearing this, I was confused. Was this the same label that had brought me Do Make Say Think, Fly Pan Am, Godspeed You Black Emperor, and other great bands?

Of course, I only needed to keep listening a bit to hear how the beginning of the disc fit into the overall scheme of things on Mnant. A project conceived by Aden Evens and Constellation label co-founder Ian Ilavsky, Re: is probably easily the most electronic sounding release that the label has put out thusfar. Sure, there was One Speed Bike's Droopy Butt Begone! album full of chunky beats and looped drumming, but Re: is more about the deconstruction and re-assembly of sound. There are still organic elements (like the guitar), but for the most part its a disc of somewhat jagged electronics mixed with tonal drones. At some points it reminds one of Autechre, and at others it reminds me of a group like Biosphere, who mix spooky ambient noises with haunting electronics.

In fact, during the latter half of the second track mentioned above, the album shifts gears a bit and moves into an almost droning piece before that theme is again pursued on the very eerie third track entitled, "solute." It shimmers along with a very slightly abrasive tone while little bits of other electronics weave their way in and out like robots with all sensors shattered trying to find their way through a dark cover. On the fourth track things change up again with "cipe," and the duo rolls some serious low end while dropping little glitchy bleeps on top of it.

In case you didn't notice by now, basically the group explores new areas with nearly every track while tying the whole thing together somehow. Right in the middle of the album, they weave a guitar into the tracks "straint" and "buke" (first an acoustic, then an electric) before letting loose with a haunting squall of electronic noise (or is that wailing guitar feedback, I can't quite tell) on "pent" that loops over and over and serves as more of an agitation than anything, especially before the minimal and droney first half of "legate." The ninth track "volve" sounds strangely like Brian Eno's "Force Marker," but since it's such a great song in the first place, there's no reason to be upset with that.

In the end, the 11 track, 45 minute release is a pretty eclectic one for the duo (who worked cross-state and cross-country putting the release together). While there are a couple tracks that fail to connect as well as others, they still manage to work in the building of the album as a whole (with nice rises and falls and a closing that ties back into the beginning of the disc). It's pretty unlike anything else on the label, but if you're into interesting electronic textures and tracks that bridge the gap nicely, this is a group to check out. It also shows that the young label is branching out without overextending.

rating: 7.2510
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00