raster-noton. archiv für ton und nichtton : raster-noton. pop matters picks_the best electronic albums of 2009

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DEC 14 2009 | pop matters picks_the best electronic albums of 2009

snd_atavism among others voted to the best electronic albums of 2009

(...) We have no idea where the hell electronic music is going in the next decade, but if you can't find something in the wide stew of sonics out there to get excited about, check your pulse. You're probably dead.

Okay, I’ll admit it: listen to Atavism enough times, and those sharp digital pads start to sound like the Law & Order “doink doink” sound got a remix job. There’s no caveat of “but wait, come back” with this album. SND are harsh, minimal, sterile, and brutally uncompromising. The sonic palette on Atavism is, compared to other minimal techno records (even its siblings at Raster-Noton), shockingly limited. There are a few percussive sounds, and some (very) slowly morphing synth stabs, all definitely digital. In one fell swoop, SND undo generations of progress toward emulating “analog warmth” on computers, preferring instead to focus on cold processors. The untitled tracks bleed into one another easily; no one cut has a sonic signature that would greatly distance it from the herd. Fittingly for a comeback, Atavism is, even with its hour-long running time, a statement of purpose that’s free of fat. Fittingly for SND, there’s no grand ceremony behind Atavism. It is what it is, with bare-bones information in a brilliant bone-white package. In his full-length review of the record, Mike Newmark looked at Atavism as a study in how curiously “safe” computers are. And he’s right—SND is the kind of safe that makes your muscles clench. It’s inexplicable, but it’s also addicting. by David Abravanel


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