Thursday, December 14, 2006

Ü2K6: Munich

Electronica has become a significant chunk of my listening over the past year. I find it to be a fascination genre, sort of a subculture within the greater context of independent music. While the market is no less saturated than that of its guitar-driven peers, it seems that an artist really has to excel to be picked up by the general populace. Or, more specifically, an electronica album is generally quality if it's featured on All Music Guide's Editor's Choice. Granted, it's rather biased, but I really feel obliged to check out such albums first.

Over the summer, Ellen Allen & Apparat's delightful Orchestra of Bubbles was featured and on a whim, I gave it a listen. I've found that while I can respect and admire sonic architects such as Aphex Twin or Four Tet, my pop inclinations really rely on vocals if I'm to form a real attachment. Thus, while Orchestra has a fair amount of instrumental, Ellen's distinctive delivery, as well as Apparat's Röyksoppian world-weariness on "Leave Me Alone" really make the album for me.

Having said that, the album doesn't skimp on programming. Although I'm not familiar with each artists' individual work to distinguish exactly where one ends and the other begins, there's a great fusion of Ellen's more straight-forward, dance-oriented beats and Apparat's subtlety. All in all, one of my favorite albums of the year, electronic or otherwise, and highly recommended.

You can stream the album at the official site, and they've graciously made one of the later highlights available:

Do Not Break

Here's a DJ set, recorded on July 15th, 2006. You can make out snippets of "Turbo Dreams" and "Way Out."

Ellen Allien & Apparat - Live at Fritz LoveRadio

Here's a DJ set from Ellen, recorded in Türkheim, Germany.

Ellen Allien - Live at Liberty One

As mentioned, Pitchfork has a good rundown of her various activities next year.

Buy: Here


Arivia said...

Roland finally convinced me to listen to EA&A. I'm glad my top 25 is already set in stone: this would screw it all up.

annerose said...

I thank you for your comment.

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