Lithops, Ye Viols! (Thrill Jockey)

Jan St. Werner records a bunch of pretty hate machines, displaced noises and other weird abstractness for Ye Viols! Sweet.
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What machines say when they think no one''s around
It''s likely that the overt spatial qualities of the compositions collected on this disc from Jan St. Werner of Mouse on Mars and Von Sudenfed fame are intentionally rendered. The hums, clanks, rattles and other sounds of steam-era factory machines letting loose after hours of Ye Viols! were originally exhibited as audio installations in collaboration with works from artists including Illui Nonobac, Rosa Barba and David Maljkovic. Removed from their original contexts, the enveloping songs continue to define a sense of place. There''s no dominating style or theme to these collections of displaced noises, but they''re tied together by the way rhythms and melodies often creep in from the din unnoticed. Boasting some occasional techno thump, choreographer Lee Yaung used “Inductech” for a dance performance, and its transformative minimal path is among the album''s least abstract moments. While there''s abundant rhythm at the core of “Graf,” it develops as if riding an ever-less-stable conveyor belt. “Handed” lets looped organ melodies form interlocked rings, as the formlessly noisy “Bacchus” and “21. jhrdt” coalesce around whistles and grinds. Produced in a limited run, these collected works will see limited release in CD and vinyl formats, with hand-printed artwork from Nonobac. [3.5 out of 5 stars]