steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"Instabil" CD

Domizil Records

Genres: experimental electronics, glitch, blips and bleeps

Jan 20 - 26 2003

rm74 is Reto Mäder, a talented experimental electronic composer whose Instabil album is his first since 2000's Mikrosport. It seems as if he's really been working hard in these three years, as Instabil is a fantastic, diverse album that will engage just about any glitch fan.

Using an infinitely wide array of sounds, rm74 creates an atmosphere of robotic blips and bleeps - only ever calming down to show his seeming obsession with classical piano music, which makes appearance in a number of pieces, including the largely piano-led "Schamassel." But the majority of Mäder's sounds are abstract palettes of buzzing electronics, mechanical ambiences, and sudden, short bursts of white noise.

The album's first track, "Schlonder," is a nice example of what Mäder does. Starting off with some nice glitches and short impulses of harshness, the track adds a stream of little electronic beeps into the mix, only to further enhance the sound by introducing a throbbing, tuneful background to the chaos. It is an immediately engaging piece; you can just lie down, close your eyes, and listen to it - it will transport you into its own bizarre world of shifting metal landscapes and complex blue, white, and black cubes.

Another fantastic piece is "Dahaluse," which, about halfway through the track, introduces some really nice sounds that add a bit of tunefulness to the album. These sounds are mesmerizing electronic chords that shift and mingle with the track's white noise, creating an interesting battle of sorts between the tuneful notes and the harsh abrasion.

"Klavtarups" is also very impressive. Using a simple piano recording as the base of the piece, Mäder manages to take the chords and notes and completely fuck with them, attacking them with feedback and harsh white noise. As the desperate piano notes try to claw themselves above the frantically intrusive feedback, an interesting point is being made - it's a fight between acoustic instruments and the new camp of electronics. How symbolic!

Altogether, rm74's Instabil is a fantastic, rewarding album. Glitch fans will love it, and those new to the genre may find themselves discovering a new passion. Recommended.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 12 songs, distributed by m.dos, released 2003]