Although B. Fleischmann had created a couple albums of looping electronic pop music beforehand, for my money his first real breakout effort was the double-disc Welcome Tourist. Released on the Morr Music label a couple years ago, the album mixed a first disc of more concise tracks with a long-form electronic epic on the second disc that explored texture, repetition, and melody in beautiful ways. In the time between that album and his newest effort, he teamed up with friend Herbert Weixelbaum for the Duo 505 album Late.
As the title suggests, The Humbucking Coil finds Fleischmann blending more guitars into his nicely-programmed world of melodic electronic music. In addition to the electric guitars, there's a healthy does of piano, vibraphone, and a warm hum of nostalgia that seems to permeate the mix. Of all the artists on the Morr roster, Fleischmann has always seemed most rooted in the past, and it's not in a bad way. From his use of the throwback groovebox to his laid-back feel in general, his albums seem to always have a great ear for blending the clicky micro-production of now with a nod towards the past.
Even though there's a little bit more guitar at work, The Humbucking Coil doesn't really sound a whole lot different than past Fleischmann outings. Opening track "Broken Monitors" builds slowly with overlapping layers of electronic fluttering, vibraphone and some soft guitar melodies, cresting with a slightly crunchy section that tops off nicely. Christof Kurzmann (who sang on Welcome Tourist.) again adds his warm and fragile vocals to a couple cuts on the release, including the almost ballad-like pitter-pattering percussion track "Gain" and the chugging, vibraphone cascade of "From To."
Elsewhere, the album seems to get stuck in a familiar pattern of establishing a theme early on, then building and changing it slowly throughout, usually culminating in a slightly louder section and then backing down again. In that regard, the album feels very loop-based, although it manages to keep things fairly interesting with some nice chord changes and overall ear for texture and melody. "Composure" is a five-minute rumbler that sounds something like what Boards Of Canada might put out if they were on happy pills, while "Static Crate" thumps along with another instrumental hip-hop inspired beat, some pretty piano work, and a bit of clarinet that seems to really cut through the mix and take the track up a notch. As a whole, The Humbucking Coil doesn't really tread any new ground for Fleischmann, but it's another enjoyable and solid little release in his discography.