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Grischa Lichtenberger: And IV (Intertia) (Raster-Noton)

I had never heard of Grischa Lichtenberger when I saw news of this release. He put out an EP on Raster-Noton in 2009 (ununbium / ~ treibgut) that I’d overlooked despite my usual tendency to be a label loyalist, and so when I read a description of And IV (Inertia) that likened it to a hybrid of Raster artists like Noto or Byetone and the sprawl of post-2000 Autechre, I had to download it. Am I ever glad I did! This is surely one of the best releases of the year. Sprawl does it ever, by the way — while most of these tracks are on the shorter side, there are 22 of them, and they often flow right into one another. With such unmemorable titles as “1110_01_lv_1b,” it’s just as well to consider this to be one long extensive slab of music, and it plays quite well in full each time. It’s somewhat hard to describe Lichtenberger’s sounds here… they are simultaneously rhythmic and disjointed, noisy and dissonant but somehow not unmusical. It’s as if a room of computers made their own set of party jams without human hands touching anything, with a few more introspective moments that allow listeners to breathe. To me this is the perfect combination of atonal rhythm, glitchy manipulation and digital noise — sometimes it’ll have you tapping your feet while at others you might be scratching your head, but you’ll never be bored. Personally, I can’t stop smiling.

Buy it: Raster-Noton Shop | Boomkat | Bleep | iTunes | Amazon

Check out the video for “1011_11_Ss1”: