archive review originally posted on the losing today site – c. early 00’s …..
Don’t be alarmed when the odd phrases like minimalist, electronica, blip and bleep culture scatter themselves throughout the review, ‘Player player’ is one of those odd little occasional releases that pass this way that really do attempt in the most scurrilous of ways to hide their very well conceived light beneath it’s bushel.
A bit of background I feel is deserving here. An artist who prefers to riddle his name with unusual punctuation which these days appears to be the new fashion statement. Better known as German musician Michael Beckett, kpt.michi.gan has already spirited his manipulated minimalist laptop derived sounds clouded by drone and fuzz for such discerning labels as Trim and City Slang, the latter a split with Schneider TM. On ‘Player, Player’ Beckett takes the medium to new levels incorporating minutely tailored melodic overtones glazed with unruly abstract punk focusing.
Starting at the end for a change, ‘Hey Brother’ which closes the collection just knocks you off your feet, after the maelstrom of vibrant clicks and rhythmically disjointed electronics, this track reverts back to purism, a rolling acoustic guitar not a lap top in sight gently meanders beneath Beckett’s softened vocals decorating a soothing sunny mood that appears at total odds with what has gone before and imports a human touch amid all the seemingly fabricated emotionally detached elements elsewhere.
Beckett admirably dallies with all manner of repetitive rhythms giving them limited space to work within, crafting ostensibly warming textures in a genre that is all to often seem as impassive, ‘fruchting’ scatters about chasing it’s own tail, delicate flickers of disenfranchised grooves patterns slowly growing in stature as the layers begin to develop all the time beats shuffle awkwardly in a locked groove formation. ‘fon’ on the other hand arms itself with a crisp broad view, glacial like melodies are smothered and dissected by subtle distortion to create a processional tone to the proceedings routed at the finale by some inclement drone interference. On ‘amp!’ the same techniques as ‘fruchting’ are re-explored, shortened time lines, locked grooves but this time the lullaby like melodies are clearly more developed though re-arranged yet cohesive and flowing. Best of the lot though is the frail sounding ‘minzgrun’, minimalist electronica, icy and delicate as it weaves a soothing hypnotic glare that recalls the disarming caressing tones of Ampop or Stendec. As a balance try the punked up friction based volatile land scapes of ‘derber papa’ where the listener is greeted by the onslaught of acute noise distortion which when clear reverts to an eerie pulse like repetitive collage of incessant clicks and barren imagery. ‘player player’ proves itself to be in the pop end of the glitch electronic scene, appetizing for any discerning listener not quite a rounded classic but it’ll come.