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Unterm Rad – The Rake’s Progress

Unterm Rad - The Rake's Progress

CD, Tympanik Audio, 2007

One of the first few releases on the now up-and-coming US-based Tympanik Audio. This obscure project from Mike Slansky glitches into life and crawls out of its cocoon slowly, much like an insect taking its first few frail steps, trying not to lose its footing as it grasps its first glimpse of the world.
“The Rake’s Progress” is an unusual creature, one that gently oozes into the idea of getting on with things rather than showing much gusto for the proceedings. It’s really a refreshing change from the usual assortment of albums out there that just want to kick you in the face from the off. The main consensus of this release is to get that lack of pace and roll with it.
Slansky’s lack of beat orientation (apart from track two, “Sick”) leaves the majority of the work up to glitches. Granted, these are tied up into solid loops so that you don’t completely go down the road of pointless noises and vague ambient blips, or even musique concrète (which would be a shambles). This, while being masterfully done, narrows his audience down a notch and might not be to everyone’s tastes. However, this is a wonderfully experimental release and has the added bonus towards the end of a fair few remixes that add a new level to the journey, giving the tracks some essential edges that a few listeners out there may be craving for midway through the proceedings.


— Tony Young

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