Producer Stefan Schwander, aka Harmonious Thelonius describes his current project as “American minimalism vs. African drumming vs. European sequencing,” which is something that takes a minute to wrap your head around. American minimalism might conjure a few different things, but here it generally seems to imply something simple, melodic, easy to listen to. African drumming and European sequencing are more straight forward, but what does it mean coming from a German artist exactly? Whatever you want to call it, it is a unique and interesting mix that has given Schwander enough inspiration for two albums in two years under the Thelonius moniker.
Yet Listen and its predecessor Talking are as distinct as they are similar, with the latter album asserting sonic clarity, and the former, a patchwork of live tracks and studio tracks, demonstrating a uniform roughness. Read More
If you could say anything about the direction US electronic music took in 2011, now that we have at least a bit of perspective, it might be that underground artists found a taste for dance music and ran with it. Look anywhere from 100% Silk to Container. And it seems that Pete Swanson, producer and cofounder of Yellow Swan, has gotten on the same boat for his first solo album for label Type…kind of. The glitchy curtains and swirls of sound you might expect from a producer know up to now for arrhythmic ambiance are still there but so is a kick drum trying to breaking through.
Opener “Misery Beat,” might conjure early rave music on speed with rapid beats, high-frequency sounds and spastic melodies, but Swanson still seems more at home in non-dance contexts than in full on techno. “Remote View” courses with subtle beats, buzzes, string lines and whale songs before giving way to the title track that screams with density and noise laced with a melody coming in and out of view.