Jan Jelinek has been a busy fellow the past couple of years, releasing not only two albums under his own name, but a couple more under pseudonyms (Farben, Gramm), and a collaborative project with the electronic jazz group Triosk. Of all his work to date, it's that latter project with the youngsters that I found the most impressive, as 1 + 3 + 1 was an impressive back-and-forth that played to the strengths of both parties involved, striking a nice balance between murky electronic jazz and loopy micro programming.
If all his previous work was his take on jazz music, then Kosmischer Pitch (Cosmic Pitch) finds him delving into another genre (Kraut and other "cosmic" music) for inspiration and the result is something more mystical and developed than any of his other previous solo projects. While it's true that the release isn't a dramatic departure from his earlier work, it is something that moves in a slightly different direction and because of the source samples involved, it has a different overall feel. "Universal Band Silhouette" opens the disc and it's easy to hear the slight changes as the track starts slow but builds steam with dense layering of synth sounds and even some filtered guitars, turning it into a delightful 'trance' track (without all the implications that that label entails).
"Lemmings And Lurchen Inc" is even more trippy, weaving little more than some mesmerizing melodies over one another in disorienting ways while "Vibraphonspulen" takes things down a notch, spiraling multiple chime layers into a gauzy, heady haze. Really, the whole atmosphere of the album is one of the reasons that it succeeds so well. While I felt that some of his earlier work fell into a bit of a rut in terms of sonics (mainly from getting stuck in the same loop over an over again), that issue actually plays to his advantage on Kosmischer Pitch, because most of the tracks are less focused on rhythm and the spacey overlapping loops only draw the listener in further.
One of the only real mis-steps on the album is "Im Diskodickicht," which warbles the same bass melody for the entirety of the track without changing things up sufficiently, but elsewhere Jelinek has found fertile ground for stretching space and time with his unique production style. The album opens with a bit more of a pulse and that pulse wears away even more as the album progresses, eventually leaving the listener in some sort of free-floating hammock of washes that certainly conjures up a dreamy landscape. My favorite Jelinek release yet.