A Choir Of Empty Beds
Fuzzy Box / Darla
By: Eric G.
Go ahead and add B. Fleischmann to your list of must have Austrian electronic experimentalists. Your list not that long? Neither is mine. I guess Falco doesn’t count. Fleischmann’s brand of experimentation is unsurprisingly very cold and digitized. The foundation of his music moves at a glacial pace, but he incorporates skittering noises that sound like wet electricity to balance the tension. There are plenty of melodies underneath all the digital noise, but Fleischmann often eclipses them with his penchant for white static and signal interruptions. He creates all of his soundscapes using only one machine, so there is a consistency to the synthetic minimalism.
The beats range from robotic techno syncopation (“Start”) to skittish, breakbeats (“Play The Big A”). Fleischmann tends to avoid traditional pop conventionality, experimenting with various time signatures and metrical shifts. It’s relatively easy to lump the Austrian scene in with what’s happening in Germany, although I’m sure it would ruffle some feathers. Both scenes are harsher, more detached, and noisier than, say, English electronic stuff like Wagon Christ or the Mo’ Wax output, which tends to be more danceable and listener friendly (Authechre and Aphex Twin are exceptions). That is not to say that B. Fleischmann’s music is a chore to listen to. His minimalist attitude forces the music to be very direct and engaging.
I don’t know if this is the best album to cruise to as the bio states; I’d be more inclined to call it a headphones record. Some of the pitch-bended harmonies may sound like a busy city at night, but the beats are too sporadic for speeding down the autobahn. It’s definitely a late night record, though. One that you listen to really loudly when you haven’t slept in days.