Ellen Allien & Apparat, Orchestra Of Bubbles - Part of what often makes electronica feel like a Specialists Only affair to me is its frequent disdain for lyrics and vocals. Without those, you're down to pretty much solely texture (hooks without vocals seem somehow pointless, so why bother?), and then you're down to people talking about 808s and granulizing sounds and I get a bit bewildered. The best song on Bubbles is the almost shamefacedly gorgeous "Leave Me Alone," which chops up a string arrangement and makes the sadly MIA Notwist proud; it's as if Ellen Allien & Apparat were ashamed for writing a straightforward pop song using almost entirely electronic tools. None of the other songs really pop out at me; they all make fine minute-to-minute listening, as loops slowly emerge and glitter with new details at every turn, but I can't really pin down any of the instrumentals aside from the beginning, just because I know where it comes temporally. This album is fine, but is it wrong to wish for more pop and less rigid electronica? Probably.
Forthcoming: Divine Comedy, Thom Yorke, Phoenix, Parts & Labor, Creeper Lagoon, Danielson, J Dilla, The Walkmen. I've been busy.