Mimikry album cover
Mimikry

Alva Noto , Blixa Bargeld , ANBB

2010
Raster-Noton

It makes sense that Blixa Bargeld of Einstürzende Neubauten would eventually interface with Carsten Nicolai (of Alva Noto, Diamond Version, Cyclo., Raster-Noton, etc.), one of the most rigorous and ascetic of the ‘90s/‘00s glitch/electronica crew; there’s a shared intensity to their work, along with a fondness for reducing to essence and removing all unnecessary ideas and motifs. There’s also an abstract but shared fascination with various other phenomena – scientific, mathematical, etc. – that plays into parts of Mimikry. But the surprise of this album is just how varied it is, how much Bargeld and Nicolai wrestle from their minimal material; Bargeld’s voice is in stunning form, whether piling up on itself on “Berghain,” or extending a screeching whistle tone to infinity on “Fall”; Nicolai responds with pin-prick accuracy, his textures gleaming, metallic, cold but welcoming. In amongst an album of unexpected turns, covers of Harry Nilsson’s “One,” and the traditional song “I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground,” are particularly startling for both their idiosyncrasy, and the way they, somehow, effortlessly fit in amongst the abstraction.

Jon Dale

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