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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Vert - Nine Types of Ambiguity

Name: Vert
Album:  Nine Types of Ambiguity
Year 2001
Style: Experimental, Ambient
Similar Bands: Aphex Twin, Mouse on Mars, Tricky
One Word Review: Fuzzy, Muffled bip bop soundscapes
Based Out Of: Berlin, Germany
Label: Sonig
 Nine Types of Ambiguity - Cover & Record
Nine Types of Ambiguity - Back & Record
Nine Types of Ambiguity (2001)
  1. Blindsight 4:51
  2. This Precious Meanwhile 4:30
  3. Codfish Dada 6:07
  4. The Tide Comes In & Then the Tide Goes Out 4:57
  5. Somewhere Between Here & Last Week 3:20
  6. To Be Is To Doo 2:21
  7. Drawers of Water 5:04
  8. Last Night From a Bus I Saw 7:45
  9. Scope/Lifetime 10:11
Album Rating (1-10): 6.0

Members & Other Bands:
Adam Butler - Sounds, Music (Mouse on Mars, Emmanuelle Somer, Carlito Verde, Wechsel Garland, Epiphany Project)
Christian Zimmerli - Mastering
Frieda Luczak - Artwork Engaving
Andi Toma - Producer
McFarland/ Broxton/ Odijk/ Dommert/ McGrane/ Butler - Beermat Artwork

Unknown-ness: I've never heard of this band. The artwork makes me think it will be minimal or maybe some Saddle Creek worthy folksy indie rock.

Album Review: Most of Vert’s music has been published on Mouse on Mars’ label, and he even opened for them on a 2001 tour. His music is more melodic and straightforward than others in his genre of abstract intelligent dance music (IDM).
“Blindsight” starts with echoing hypnotic chords, with light percussive clicks and taps that would feel right at home in Twin Peaks. A staticy electric drum beat gives tempo and drive to the continuing floating chords. Singular elements bleed in and out, adding to the sound scape, and creating a repetitive pattern. The chords leave, for a sort of background noise and skipping solo. The sounds increase and grow, with the electric sound from Orphan Black added in, until the chords come back, with a brighter and optimistic feel. The song has seemed to find its stable place, and it rides out the hook until the end.
“This Precious Meanwhile” has a muffled street performer percussive tempo, with some juggling wood block effects buried just below. A general hum and other organic jar tinking and tocking effects are added, along with a flute that seems to note when the repetitive loop starts over. Sampled vocals are used as another instrument, sounding a little like Tricky. The effects are stripped back one at a time, and the song blinks out.
“Codfish Dada” begins with a looped scratch. A watery & blurry synth xylophone is added with a simple repetitive beat. The song scurries along, fuzzy effect are added and taken away, some are deep, some squeaky. The song returns to the start with the scratches from the beginning. The song rebuilds, as if it is in the forest, with electronic birds tweeting, and other effects that offer a feeling of running through a forest or field. The song ends with the sound of violins and other string instruments in a frozen state of warming up, and the continued bird tweets.
“The Tide Comes In & Then the Tide Goes Out” starts out with some static ocean water lapping on the beach sounds, mixed with muffled wind chimes, and a bubbling, skittering effects. Other watery, fuzzed out effects that could range from underwater sounds to bullfrog murmurs are added. The whole soundscape changes, like scenery slowly morphing as one would walk along the beach. Near the end, most of the effects are stripped away, leaving the shuffling, bubbling wood block sounds.
“Somewhere Between Here & Last Week” is 3 plus minutes of a sort of two tiered medieval flute melody. Melody-less drips or clicks are added, sounding random in the background.
“To Be is To Doo” comes next, but on most listing, “To Doo is To Be,” a 7:47 min song is supposed to be next. This track reminds me of the melodies from Aeon Flux’s early vocal-less short days. An accordion, violin and a sporadic metal tuning effect are added to the song, which has a sort of eastern European sound overall. It is by far the shortest song on the album, but is also the most concise and straightforward theme.
“Drawers of Water” begins with a skipping in reverse audio track, and echoing, vibrating Aphex Twin like crystal sounds blink out two tones on pulse, answering each other. In the background, a digital clock tone ticks on by, married to vibrating synth notes which parallel the two tone sounds as they change in pitch. Then around the 3:15 mark, a disco melody violin is added, looped in the same time constraint as the tone and synth changes.
“Last Night From a Bus I Saw” spins like a scratchy record (or it may just be my record). Spoken words samples with an emotionless tone begin the song, followed by a sad, minimal piano hook. In the background echoes a wind, like putting your ear to a conch shell. Other groaning and slow moving effects create a scene of waking up depressed and in pain. Electronic tones, like something from a horror movie (at first) take over the scene, and grow like they are punishing the ear drums…changing in tone, but never offering leniency. They suddenly stop, and we are taken so a sort of thoughtless, naive and charming melody played on a squeezebox, accompanied with enlightened, optimistic effects that seem to assist the childlike melody along, like a guardian angel.
“Scope/Lifetime” is a ten plus minute song, that begins slowly with singular notes that seem unsure how to proceed…they almost seem accidental, or like they are discovering their surroundings for the first time. Or they might be secondary noises from a bunch of instruments that are being set up to perform. It is quiet and singular, accompanied with a consistent record skipping sound that sets the tempo with its broom sweep sounds. The piano notes begin to get more organized, but they are like a newborn still discovering their range of motion. Vibrating tonal effects, chimes and swirling electronic crystal sounds play together, invited in by the piano. The song gets a lot more crowded, once the skittering bongos and wah-wah electronic notes take over, along with a jazzy cymbal/percussion performance that morphs into electronic techo onslaught (that is not overbearing, however). The song continues to grow and it loses all natural instrumentation for a symphony of buzzing, vibrating, and oscillating digital effects that cruise together like a variety of winged bugs in a vacant lot. 

Stand Out Track: To Be Is To Doo

Vert Website
Full Album Bandcamp

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