Schneider TM - Skoda Mluvit
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Schneider TM
Skoda Mluvit

After releasing his last full-length album (Zoomer) clear back in 2002, German Dirk Dresselhaus delved into remixes and collaborations for a couple releases. On the 6 Peace EP, he remixed a couple of his own tracks and let Mogwai contribute another version, while on Reconfigures he remixed tracks by the likes of The Faint, Lambchop, and others and included cooperative tracks that he'd done with Rechenzentrum and Pulseprogramming.

In terms of sheer sound, Skoda Mluvit is another eclectic release from Dresselhaus. Just like his Zoomer album was a step forward from his debut Moist, this newest release is another small step from his most recent effort, with even more of a focus on organic instrumentation to round out the electronic-pop songs. "More Time" kicks off the album and the pulsing track with sparse vocals (that repeat the track title) really give it a sense of urgency as undulating waves of electronic synths cascade over a modulated beat. "Pac Man/Shopping Cart" takes things in a different direction, slowing down the pace and shifting into sort of a glitchy folk sound, with heavy, clicky beats chopped up around multiple acoustic guitar melodies and quiet vocals.

"Peanut" moves similarly (with acoustic guitar, phased harmonica) and more clippy beats, and the song has some of the best vocals melodies on the entire release as well as some of the most surreal vocals. He also teams up with hip hop artist Max Turner again for several songs, with the standout being "The Blacksmith," a strange electro-pop piece that includes both swirls of strings and a prominent thumb piano melody. The biggest problem with the album is that by the time the two-thirds mark rolls around, there are songs that sound very similar to ones that came before them. He's a heck of a sound designer (the album sounds fabulous on headphones as always), but has the tendency to work the same tempos and sounds over and over again.

Of course, because of that, songs like the blissed-out "The Slide" come as even more of a surprise. Moving with sort of a hop-along rhythm, the piece layers subtle layers of guitar feedback and shifty synths that build into a gorgeous crescendo as multiple layers of filtered vocals add their watery syllables. With thirteen songs running nearly an hour, Skoda Mluvit meanders into rather bland territory at times, but if you've liked past work from the group, it might be worth checking out.

rating: 6.510
Aaron Coleman 2007-03-29 20:35:37