Sunday, June 03, 2007

Tobias Thomas--Please Please Please (2007)

Artist-Tobias Thomas
Album-Please Please Please
Release Date-May 1, 2007
Genre/Style-Electronica/Minimal Techno/Techno-Dub


Review-Please Please Please follows 2000's Für Dich and 2003's Smallville, closing out a trilogy of Tobias Thomas mixes for Kompakt. Listeners familiar with the first two chapters might not be surprised that Please Please Please also diverges from the expected path of a customary dance mix. Again, Thomas uses the format not as an attempt to condense an ahead-of-the-curve, three-hour set into 80 minutes of nonstop intensity; instead, he challenges the ears of the most open-minded techno fans, designing a set that plays out more like Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation or Wire's 154 than Jeff Mills' Live at the Liquid Room or even Michael Mayer's Immer 2. Having previously used a monologue from one of Blumfeld's albums, nearly half of Vladislav Delay's 22-minute "Huone," and 12 minutes of beat-less ambience, Thomas evidently couldn't care less about doing the expected. This time out, the first beat appears around the ten-minute mark of the sequence, following a scratchy Adolf Noise lullaby surrounded by two appearances from a drifting ambient mix of Pantha Du Prince's "Butterfly Girl" — which offsets a tornado warning signal with a shimmering effect. Nine minutes of Krause Duo's rickety, minor-key "Kingpult" sound as if they're in a constant state of fading in, eventually giving way to Johannes Heil's claustrophobic "Aquarius" — a track that, unlike the aquatics-obsessed likes of Porter Ricks and Drexciya, actually sounds submerged, albeit in an insect-infested lagoon of black oil. Vulva String Quartett's "Wild Wild Berry" rises out, the point at which antsy listeners — on the first play, at least — might reference as the actual beginning of the mix (23:05). The beat dissolves after a few minutes, leaving you with a cluster of percussive effects and a barely present bassline thump for another seven minutes. Tracks from the Kooky Scientist, Thomas/Burger, Reinhard Voigt, and Pachulke und Sohn build and sustain momentum for an extended passage, veering from airy and blissed-out to stripped-down and tensed-up. And then, after all that, elfin karaoke throwdown: a snugly version of the Smiths' "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me," International Pony's helium-enhanced "Gravity," and the Thomas/Geiger mix of Stella's "Dreams." (Yes, that "Dreams," as in the one originally written and performed by the one and only Fleetwood Mac.)

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