Monday, October 29, 2007


Basteroid: Upsets Ducks [Areal]
With the rise, on the one hand, of clicky-clacky "minimal," and on the other, billowing deep house and new-trance arrangements, Areal's version of electronic music-- squealy, overdriven, clunkily melodic and not a little wonky-- is no longer met with the rapturous curiosity it received a few years ago. But the debut LP from Areal co-founder Basteroid (aka Sebastian Reidl) proves that the formula is still plenty valid-- perhaps even moreso in the context of an artist album, where his ungainly fugue states don't have to play nice with more controlled (some might say formally conservative) fare. Daisy-chaining analog machines and devoid of finicky editing, Upsets Ducks' ten tracks bang out unfussy, electro-inspired rhythms beneath cascading melodies and counterpoints as sawtoothed as the Weyerhauser shop floor. Performing real-time tweaks to arrangements that stretch out like mountain terracing, Leidl maximizes the yield of his blocky plots by coaxing musical statements out of everything from an accelerating ping-pong delay to the frayed ends of a decaying filter.

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