Friday, 1 June 2012

DENT - 'verstärker' (Magnetic)

DENT's second release is much more club-orientated, but the first half quickly blendsinto an electronica-tinged soup. The sequenced drums aren't really the problem, but rather the reliance on 'groove' replacing texture. Despite this, I sorta like Verstärker, or at least remembered liking it back in the late 90's when I last spun it. The split between vocal/songform tracks and musicality-rooted jams are much more severe than on Stimmung. When there's singing, it's a different world than the beat-orientated bits. When it's fruity, DENT seems to be trying to push things a bit further here. But I think I like it more integrated. My problem is that the jammy bits are messy - too much kitchen sink-aesthetic for my tastes. It gets more song-based as the album proceeds, leaving a pleasant taste when it finishes. There's more than a few missteps -  'Jaded Eyes', for example, can't help but remind me of a 4NonBlondes outtake, with weird thumping bass. Yet Verstärker overall is far less tossed-off than the first album, almost like it demands to be taken more seriously. 'Cause the Rain' is the standout track, a moment of real fragility amongst the clatter. There's a female voice that appears througout, perhaps 'Jane Err' or 'Allisong Fate-Levity' as credited, ad it's chilling. 'Tsuki e' is another standout, a bit of forest-folk ten years before all that shit started happening. Krummenacher's folky side comes out in the end, and it sounds like a completely different band than on the first half of the disc - an inconsistency that could be maddening, or a virtue.

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