AMN Reviews: Various Artists – Uno-Iki-San (Unoiki)

The music found in folds and cubbyholes of the aluminium-edged digiscape, which proves to be disarmingly squishy and groovy. Unoiki is a European platform for experimental everything from everywhere, seeking to fill the gaps between the club and the gallery, thinkers and actors, objects and subjects. For its third anniversary, it packed sixteen tracks into two discs and packaged them in an eye-catching poster-cum-origami by Belgian designer Jonathan Mangelinckx that lets you play with space and aspect the way these glitch artists themselves do.

Glitch music finds a rich seam to mine in the debris, errors and schmutz stuck in cracked motherboards. In both quality and breadth, Uno-Iki-San recalls the seminal Clicks_+_Cuts series by Mille Plateaux that introduced a fresh, microscopic aspect of digital music as the first new sound of the millennium, proving that rhythmic electronics can be much more than utilitarian dancefloor techno.

Ten and Tracer´s unsettlingly titled “I Did No More Than You Let Me Do” betrays some funny, bendy funk, as is J-Lab´s “And On To the Stars, MRZ´s jerky “Randensaft”, and Strukturator´s chewy “Cloroom”. Cleymoore´s “Circulo Doze” is long, tactile, and far friskier than its title suggests, while Paralelo´s is as spacious as a factory floor. Dr. Nojoke´s atonal stabs at the piano on “Ramause” reverse foreshadow Storion´s later percussive stabs at the anime twinkle eyes of “Labyrintine”.

Sleek and round as a Henry Moore sculpture rendered in carbon fiber, this well-curated collection is surprisingly warm – perhaps because of the surreptitious dub aesthetic most seem to have in common – defying its artificial DNA to grow impossibly ensanguined by the pressure from within. Important, out-there electronica with great curb appeal (with the exception of the closing, ten-minute electric guitar solo by the wildly misnamed Easy Listening, either an awful aural pun or an actual glitch in judgement).

Stephen Fruitman