Contorted funk

Mound Magnet Pt. 2: Elevations Above Sea Level | Killer Pimp
By SUSANNA BOLLE  |  June 17, 2008
4.0 4.0 Stars
Jan St. Werner is a well-heeled master of the unconventional groove. As one half of Mouse on Mars (and one third of Von Südenfed), he’s been responsible for some of the more gloriously deranged takes on dance music to come down the pike in recent years. Of course, his prodigious musical activities also lean toward the avant-garde and experimental — he was recently the artistic director at the Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music (Steim) in the Netherlands. But even at its most abstract, his music always has at least one foot on the dance floor. The traces of dub, funk, and techno may be obscured, but their signature propulsive rhythms are rarely absent. The tracks on St. Werner’s fourth album as Lithops are no exception: they’re eccentric, loose-limbed constructions, heavy on contorted rhythms, off-kilter beats, and writhing swirls of noise. Ostensibly a sequel to 2006’s Mound Magnet (which remains a horrible title), Pt. 2 is as jam-packed with ideas as its uneven predecessor, but it’s a friendlier and considerably funkier creature. “A Generation Without Context,” with its kettledrum bass line and anxious, stumbling beats, may not impel you to jump up and shake what God gave you — then again, maybe you need to re-examine what God gave you.
  Topics: CD Reviews , Jan St Werner, Von Sudenfed
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