Reviewed by Marc Freeman (sonumu.net)
Marking his triumphant return to experimental electronic academia, Berklee trained Keith Fullerton Whitman (aka Hrvatski) presents 'Swarm & Dither,' Hrvatski's foray into critically disjointed electronica. Much of the material included on 'Swarm & Dither' was conceived, created, or otherwise released on eps and compilations from 1999-2002. Picking up where 'Oiseaux 96-98' left off, 'Swarm & Dither' abandons the drum & bass consistency of its forerunner and deviates into apparent avant-gardism. Utilizing guitars, piano, breakbeats, rhodes, clarinet, field recordings, bass, organ, video game samples, and a plethora of digital processing, Hrvatski's collages swarm, dither, and steadily circumvent comprehension.
The 'Swarm & Dither' exploration begins with 'Vatstep dsp,' a rigorously re-mixed Kid 606 tune swaddled in heavy electronics, deep dub underpinnings, and vocals care of the Macintosh application 'Vocalwriter.' Though a great remix, 'Vastep dsp' is not at all representative of the rest of this release. Field recordings, guitar, distortion, and a touch of harsh electronic experimentalism follow, barely revealing that you are listening to a rendition of the Rolling Stones' 'Paint it Black.' '2nd Zero Fidelity Mandible Investigation' provides twenty seconds of ambient piano that soon explode into intense breakcore mania, then discernable beats and whistling, finally concluding with mellow electronics. Hrvatski's experimentalism persists with distorted, disheveled breakbeats, tonal noise, digitally processed instrument warpage, Game Boy samples, upper key piano flailings, chunky metal guitar-riff samples, and melodious rhodes. Though it seems pointless to attribute any more components to specific tunes, track 11 'Anesthetise Thineself,' with its 288 discrete field recordings overtop guitar, clarinet, and organ, seems worthy of mention.
Fans of 'Oiseaux 1996-1999' may feel overwhelmed by the excessive eclecticism of 'Swarm & Dither' and indeed, the absence of Oiseaux's drum & bass framework will most likely leave listeners grappling for groove or structure in Hrvatski's most disjointed endeavor to date.
- Eskmo - Let Them Sing
- Ikonika - Smuck
- Geiom & Shortstuff - No Hand Signals
- Starkey - OK Luv
- Raffertie - 7th Dimension
- Ceephax Acid Crew - United Acid Emirates
- Kuedo - Dream Sequence E.P.
- Starkey - Ephemeral Exhibits
- Neil Landstrumm - Lord For £39
- Distance - Repercussions
- Last Step - 1961
- Mrs Jynx - The Standoffish Cat
- Venetian Snares - My Downfall (Original Soundtrack)
- Meat Beat Manifesto - Autoimmune
- iTAL tEK - Cyclical
- Mary Anne Hobbs - Evangeline
- Venetian Snares - Miss Balaton
- Various Production & Virus Syndicate - Apollo/Neva Argue
- Sunken Foal - Fermented Condiments
- Sunken Foal - Fallen Arches
- Venetian Snares - Detrimentalist
- The Gasman - Superlife
- Eero Johannes - Eero Johannes
- Virus Syndicate - Sick Pay