L@N - L@N

Bent looping madness​

by DJML
  • Label: A-Musik
  • Catalog Number: A5
  • Year: 1996

L@N is the alias of Otto Müller and Rupert "Buwa" Huber, a duo of art-scene miscreants hailing from Düsseldorf. Their first, self-titled CD from 1996 is a head-scratching collection of playful, loop-based electronic music that's stubbornly hard to categorize.

Across 7 long tracks, the pair build up layers of live, lop-sided loops, which mutate, wiggle, and devolve. Kitschy preset drums, cartoonish squiggles, and snatches of melody are built and unbuilt in real time over not-quite-quantized rhythms. There's a real kitchen sink approach here, with tons of low-budget effects flying in and out of the mix, and a complete contempt for editing. It's reminiscent of a few other folks on the playful side of the experimental electronics spectrum ( Institut fur feinmotorik, Ekoplekz, and Excepter come to mind), but with a dash of '90s retro-kitsch and Cologne whimsey (think Karaoke Kalk). At its most sublime moments, the aggregation of clunky, shuffling rhythms approaches Joe-like levels of bounce, but even the more meditative moments are full of lifelike detail.

In what might be the group's signature innovation, every jammy composition consists of two entirely separate audio tracks, hard-panned left and right. Whether this was to preserve each performer's individual take at the time of recording, or just a cheeky curveball, it elevates the material to bizarre new heights. The only-roughly-synchronized timing and brutal spatialization turns what could be a set of meandering sketches into a satisfyingly psychedelic experience.

Plentiful on Discogs, but so far unavailable on the web, the whole confounding rip is available here.


Tracklist

  1. 1. li-8 - 12:27
  2. 2. Master-4 - 6:07
  3. 3. L-8 - 11:37
  4. 4. L-11 - 10:59
  5. 5. li-1 - 17:49
  6. 6. Master-10 - 5:46
  7. 7. L-10 - 6:03