TOLOUSE LOW TRAX: Mask Talk (Karaoke Kalk)


Posted on Mar 30th 2010 12:22 am

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Tolouse Low Trax: Mask Talk

Mask Talk
Karaoke Kalk 2010
10 Tracks. 64mins59secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD

Behind the slightly silly pun serving as a banner for this project is Detlef Weinrich, who, as a member of Kreidler has, alongside bands like To Rococo Rot or Tarwater, been shaping and reshaping a particular blend of Krautrock-infused electronica which, while deeply indebted to the German progressive music scene of the seventies, is also very influenced by contemporary electronic music. This also informs much of his solo project, although the angle is somewhat different. His sole appearance so far, via an EP, Boarding To Rio, released in 2006 on Amontillado Music, collected seven tracks which were, for the most part, clearly destined to the dance-floor.

Four years on, Weinrich’s debut album, published on Berlin’s Karaoke Kalk, continues to focus on hypnotic loops and themes, but here, the man explores a much wider sonic scope. Interestingly, Weinrich opts for a generally slower pace for his tracks, and keeps it fairly constant all the way through Mask Talk. This gives the album a certain uniformity which fits well with the repetitive nature of the individual pieces, yet, in between the nonchalant mechanical humdrum of Subghosts, Kingdom or Peculiar Fields, Weinrich injects a hefty dose of minimal techno into Vai Vai, gives Prox an 80s retro feel or creates eerily atmospheric moments on Reptil Farce or Perplexity (Nacht Armee). All these variations remain however within the confines of his compulsive loop structures and rarely allow melodies to develop in any substantial form, the only notable exceptions being found early on towards the end of the title track, when a dulcimer-like motif materialises out of nowhere, or later on on the opening and closing sequences of Qual Und Glueck.

Elsewhere, it is as if Weinrich aimed at fusing the rich legacy of bands such as Cluster, Harmonia or Tangerine Dream with the minimal structures of German techno to create some hybrid music form, using rhythmic patterns as focal components of his pieces and adding various loops and noises to flesh out his compositions. In this, he occasionally finds himself close to the elegant electronica of To Rococo Rot, but the repetitive aspect of his work places it on a very different level. Mask Talk is certainly not tailored for the dance-floor in the same way as Boarding To Rio, but this still defines much of the record, its robotic grooves locked into infinite loops and its seemingly static soundscapes mutating imperceptibly to create a tensed narcotic-like feel which is ultimately the strength of Weinrich’s music.


Tolouse Low Trax (MySpace) | Karaoke Kalk (MySpace)
Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD

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Comments (2)

2 Responses to “TOLOUSE LOW TRAX: Mask Talk (Karaoke Kalk)”

  1. Thorsten Lützon 31 Mar 2010 at 8:35 am

    Thanks for the review.
    But it is Karaoke Kalk and not Karaoke Talk
    No Hard Feelings :-)

  2. themilkmanon 31 Mar 2010 at 9:30 am

    Ooops, I made a bit of an amalgam between the name of the label and the title of the record I think. All changed now.