Jan Jelinek - Tierbeobachtungen
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Jan Jelinek

Largely a continuation of the ideas he debuted in last years Kosmischer Pitch, Tierbeobachtungen (which roughly means "animal observations") furthers Jan Jelinek's explorations of kraut and psychedelic music. Created largely while in transit (moving from one studio to another), the six long pieces on this newest album definitely convey a sense of real rootlessness. He's always been a master of taking the minute and stretching it into something more tangible and textural, and this newest batch of work takes that idea and pushes it to the extreme.

"A Concert For Televison" opens the release, and on the track a tiny loop of what sounds like a couple bumped guitar strings is masked alongside a backwards sloping loop of more hazy sounds while buzzing curls of electronics keep the track from being too tranquil. "Palmen Aus Leder" moves with a bit more of a backbone as a humming, repetitive bass drone provides some vague sense of rhythm as layer upon layer of swirling, spectral loops move uneasily over the top of it.

In terms of overall development and range, Tierbeobachtungen is Jelinek's least impressive album to date. Whereas Kosmischer Pitch stayed very interesting by changing things up often and his earlier releases had some sort of rhythmic underpinning, his newest effort is his more repetitive and meandering to date as short loops play out for almost entire track running lengths (that average over seven minutes apiece). He still shows that he's an absolute master of texture and atmosphere (the gorgeous, subtle "Happening Tone" is impossible to deny), but in terms of ideas and execution, Kosmischer Pitch, is much more compelling. If you're a fan of Jelinek's work, you'll probably want to hunt this down anyway, but if you're just looking to get started with his work, there are better places to start.

rating: 6.510
Aaron Coleman 2006-11-02 20:23:01