Album: Jah Wobble, Jaki Liebezeit, Philip Jeck

Live in Leuven, 30 HERTZ
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The Independent Culture

Back in the early Eighties, when major labels still accommodated experimentation, Jah Wobble released a couple of EPs on which he collaborated with the former Can members Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit - and, less expectedly, The Edge. Live in Leuven is, in effect, an extension of those collaborations, with turntablist Philip Jeck an able substitute for Czukay and Edge - less demonstrative than the latter, maybe, but with a wider range of sonic strategies at his disposal. It features four meditative, unhurried tone-poems of between 14 and 17 minutes apiece, the most satisfying of which is "One". As a turntable artist, Jeck is like a more laid-back, minimalist DJ Shadow, not so much obsessed with the rhythmic possibilities of scratching as with creating absorbing textures. Here, he opens the piece with a lowering orchestral chord sequence, with echoing fragments of strings, vinyl static crackle, music-box chimes, and little zippy noises of uncertain provenance whipped to the consistency of mis

Back in the early Eighties, when major labels still accommodated experimentation, Jah Wobble released a couple of EPs on which he collaborated with the former Can members Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit - and, less expectedly, The Edge. Live in Leuven is, in effect, an extension of those collaborations, with turntablist Philip Jeck an able substitute for Czukay and Edge - less demonstrative than the latter, maybe, but with a wider range of sonic strategies at his disposal. It features four meditative, unhurried tone-poems of between 14 and 17 minutes apiece, the most satisfying of which is "One". As a turntable artist, Jeck is like a more laid-back, minimalist DJ Shadow, not so much obsessed with the rhythmic possibilities of scratching as with creating absorbing textures. Here, he opens the piece with a lowering orchestral chord sequence, with echoing fragments of strings, vinyl static crackle, music-box chimes, and little zippy noises of uncertain provenance whipped to the consistency of mist, before Wobble and Liebezeit join in about seven minutes in, setting up a curious push/pull rhythmic figure over Jeck's shifting sound-bed. It's perfect chill-out music, though some may find parts of the album (especially the pedestrian "Two") a little lacking in narrative drive.

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