Zwischenwelt ‘Paranormale Aktivat’

Zwischenwelt / ‘Paranormale Aktivat

Vinyl/ CD / Digital

Rephlex / Released February 21st 2011

How does one possibly attempt a review of something they don’t fully understand? A cliche it may sound, until you notice the imprint co-founded by Aphex Twin is behind the release.

This collaborative project features the likes of Arpanet, Heinrich Mueller, Japanese Telecom, and Dopplereffekt, and makes noises befitting those artists. If that’s all irrelevant, then think edgy, moderately unnerving arrangements. Take the cascading, Hitchcockian anti-climaxes of Multiple Existence, or the eerie low end, and whispered vocals of Cryptic Dimension. Now try ignoring that ghostly feeling making its way down your spine.

Sure, this is all electro. Or, as we’re told in the pre-release details, cold wave. And, far from the usual post-millennial meaningless sub-categorisation, the latter makes the most sense as a description. Of course there is the DMX Krew-style snap and clap stepper Remote Viewer, complete with power-synth hook. And Telemetric very near kicks out a solid four to the floor, while metallic highs and string stabs punctuate. But really, the tempo is more comparable to new schoolers like Dark Star, as oppose to the stereotypically raw, relentless sound of the Casio underground.

By now it should be clear Paranormale Aktivat, and the 12 tracks therein, is all about mystery. Open the double vinyl pack, put the needle to the record and listen to an enigma. It’s unclear exactly what this could soundtrack, other than some desolate but emotive, dystopian futurescape drawn by David Lynch and a Moog. But it is enjoyable, in some twisted, abstract understanding of the word.

Tunes, in particular those created from sequence and drum machine, often have difficulty breaking free of the box, even when memorable and impeccably produced. This doesn’t so much leave the norm container; it claws its way out, slowly, and rather menacingly, before leaving a rather large mark on your brain. Though not best suited to a dinner party, once you’ve got over the initial fright, there’s every chance you’ll be using it again, albeit only when the time is right.