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Robert Neiteler – Ihbaiklhikö

Robert Neiteler - Ihbaiklhikö

CD, Einzeleinheit, 2006

In all honesty, I was a bit reluctant about what I’d listen to when I received my review copy of Mr. Neiteler’s latest work, since after “Schwester Thelesitis”, I had classified Einzeleinheit releases as “helplessly minimalist”.
Still, grudgingly putting my prejudice aside, I gave the album a spin. And about 45 minutes after that came another, and another, finally giving me the pleasure to announce with certainty that while not perfect, Robert Neiteler’s cryptically titled album is good, good enough to restore some of my faith towards the entire label. And that’s not a small feat, believe me.
On with the music then, which can be accurately described as effin beats. Seriously, the percussion pretty much grabs the spotlight and stomps away from the other elements of the music, something which may sound bad, but in the context of this album is a good thing. Geared towards making heads and bodies move, “ihbaiklhikö” succeeds, with the samples and electronics working mostly as seasoning (and an excuse for the highs and mids on the equalizer to remain on), while the drums set up much more than the pace, creating intricate structures of sound and dishing out some serious aural pummelling.
Of course, there will always exist people that don’t like nine minute tracks that mostly consist of drums, and that’s perhaps where “ihbaiklhikö” fails. The whole old-school dance mash-up of drums sound is one that has a limited group of appeal, which, amplified by the lack of any other distinctive characteristics (what with the relative absence of complexity in everything but the percussion), will make certain listeners disregard the album as superficial and boring.
Still, for anyone actually searching for some clean, danceable beats with an industrial and yeah, minimalist edge, this release fits the bill very nicely, thus nabbing it an 7/10.


— George Mouratidis

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