When I first started getting into electronic music, I generally listened to more basic IDM artists. As my collection expanded, though, I found myself enjoying more organic, emotive electronica. Artists who conjured up feelings of fun or melancholy or beauty, and with a seemingly wide variety of instruments (although it was all computer). So Lexaunculpt was sort of an oddity in my recent CD purchases in that it was, for the most part, inorganic and harsh electronica.
But that’s not how it all starts out. The album begins with the sound of an orchestra tuning on “The Tuning Of Miniature Modems,” and the strings escalate for a minute only to drop right off into the immediate beats of “Has Been Trying Not To Wonder.” Sounding at first like one of the better Autechre songs, it quickly changes into a more playful, Múm-ish melody with bubbling organs and a crunchy little beat. It’s not the first time the song changes styles, though. It morphs about 4 or 5 times over the course of its nearly 8-minute duration, twisting and cracking one moment and drifting in beautiful ambience the next.
The song is followed by a short interlude of “A Funeral For A Pink Elephant Ear,” which pairs dismal lo-fi piano with soft glitch noises. The disc gets rough though on the fourth song, “Ninety-Seven Cars And Free Love,” where a heavy machine-like beat blinks on and off above a quiet, subtle melody. The clicking and whirring “Drowning Cricket Quartet” works in the same vein, but in a generally softer tone.
Fortunately, “Le Elancholia” gives the ears a break from all those loud beats and clicks. A moving, graceful string piece, it’s a refreshing departure from the earlier assault. While still dark and coated with that same oily green-grey sound of the other tracks, it’s completely different, and quite nice.
From there, the disc continues with the same complexity and noise that was to be found in the first half, although not as interesting. “The Unmute Clipon Revolver” is merely a chirping and rattling loop that repeats itself for over three minutes, and “Strangelove Offline” bounces a beat back and forth with just about as little development.
Things get pretty again, though, in the superb closer, “Emori Dixon Renamed.” A fluttering, chopped up wave of warm sound that builds until it reaches a wall of noise, and then finishes off with a loud screech before drifting away, it’s one of the few moments of beauty on this otherwise rather stark and unfeeling album.
Other than the aforementioned last track, as well as “Has Been Trying Not to Wonder” and “La Elancholia,” the album doesn’t do much for me. It’s not that the rest is bad — the songs are good for what they are, and from a technical standpoint, it’s very impressive — but I guess, ever since I’ve gone on to find more organic artists, this kind of stuff doesn’t excite me quite as much. If Lexaunculpt manages to utilize the elements from the standout tracks again, though, I’ll definitely listen.
Written by Richie DeMaria.