When I first heard "14 Zero Zero" by Console a month or so ago, I thought it sounded like Kraftwerk crossed with Air, if that can be imagined. The song has a light, jaunty air about it and computerized vocals that just scream "Geek!" Basically, it's sung from the perspective of a computer that sounds like its in love with its owner, and it's catchy as hell.
Imagine my surprise then, when I hear the rest of the album and it sounds a bunch different for the most part, but not in a bad way. The interesting thing about the disc is that it's a re-issue of sorts (the disc was originally released back in 1998 on Payola) with the single above tagged-on for an added bonus. The rest of the disc isn't night-and-day different, but it doesn't have nearly the same feel as the "14 Zero Zero" track, instead going more of a Boards Of Canada IDM route, with perhaps a smidge of the kitschy Plone added in for good measure.
The album opens up with one of the more beautiful electronic tracks I've heard in some time (or at least since Plaid's Rest Proof Clockwork or the already mentioned Boards Of Canada disc Music Has The Right To Children) in "My Dog Eats Beats." The track moves along with sort of a loping, shuffle-beat that never gets too loud, and has all kinds of odd and lovely noises drifting in and out of the mix. After "14 Zero Zero," the disc moves right back into IDM territory with the offset melodies and slight grinding of "Gulls Galore." On "Dolphin Dos," Martin Gretschmann lets his German roots show a little more with a track that recalls a bit of Cologne-area artists Mouse On Mars in it's bubbly sounds and beats.
From there, this disc goes into a sort of grimy, funked out track called "Pigeon Party" in which cut-up trumpet bits and tweeting birds make their way into the mix. Yet another highlight of the album arrives at track 6 with the awesome, light melodies of "Delay Dackel." It's one of those minimal, electronic tracks that sounds so nice and happy you can't imagine anyone not tapping their foot just a little bit to it. After the lo-fi electronic sounds of the album titled track, the disc winds down with another rather squiggly, bubbling track in "Bee Green" and the skittering chimes and filtered beats (that become quite harsh near the end) of "Walk Like A Worm." It's an interesting album, and after listening to the whole thing, the newly-added track feels even a little more out-of-place within the context of the rest of the songs. Still, it's a very good release, and if you're into any of the bands mentioned above, you'd probably feel right at home with the sounds on here.