Der Zyklus & Albert van Abbe: No Comment_0005 (No Comment)
This split EP offers up a brand new track from Der Zyklus (a.k.a. Gerald Donald of Drexciya, Dopplereffekt, Japanese Telecom and a million other aliases) alongside two cuts from Albert van Abbe. Anyone vaguely familiar with Donald’s output ought to know that “brand new” doesn’t necessarily mean anything because his music never quite sounds fully of the time. His use of vintage gear and sounds, along with an uncompromising point of view about electro that’s heavily influenced the entire genre over the last 20 years, lends a very distinct and undated quality to his music. “Von Neumann Replicator” is an upbeat track that feels right at home when placed up against any of his other output for the project — crisp snare, punchy, clipped kick, woozy melodic leads. No Comment label boss Albert van Abbe rounds it out with two cuts on the flipside. His grooves match the beat science of Der Zyklus, but his aesthetic is decidedly icier and more mechanical. “Von Neumann Machine (V2)” is led by a tense drone, a repetitive bit-crushed snare and chintzy drum sounds that are as clean as they are cold. It’s got a four-to-the-floor kick that grounds it slightly more in the techno world, with a clinical edge that I’d liken to Sleeparchive or the Raster-Noton crew. The original that follows is a bit rougher around the edges, with more reverb and noise to its various sounds. The syncopation is similar, though, and the more pronounced bassline lends it a touch more immediacy. The artists are healthy complements to one another, and it makes me want to backtrack through the No Comment catalogue.