Jan Jelinek

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

Loop Finding Jazz Records (2001), 7/10
Improvisations And Edits (2002), 6/10
1+3+1 (2003), 6/10
La Nouvelle Pauvrete (2003), 5/10
Kosmischer Pitch (2005), 7/10
Tierbeobachtungen (2006), 6.5/10
Bird Lake Objects (2010), 6/10
Schaum (2016), 6/10

German composer Jan Jelinek blended jazz/funk bass lines (lifted from old records), ripetitive minimalism, glitch music, trip-hop and house music on the groundbreaking Loop Finding Jazz Records (Scape, 2001). The overture, the glitch-tinged Moire - Piano & Organ (6:54), is typical of his method of patiently weaving a delicate atmosphere out of simple processes of iteration. Moire - Strings (6:28) is a floating remix of glitches and drones. Rock In The Video Age (8:04) goes beyond the atmosphere and lands onto the dancefloor: the process creates an organic, swinging, quasi-Brazilian beat. They Them (7:20) is even more lively, like a melody from a movie soundtrack of the Sixties, hardly related to jazz at all. Them Their (5:06) sounds like a gently dissonant of the same melody. The glitch is the rhythm in Tendency (7:22), that returns to a more subliminal atmosphere, and Do Dekor (5:38), that returns to a more jovial beat. The background of musique concrete is what elevates the feeble vibration of Drift (5:09) to a work of abstract art. The specific plot changes from track to track, but the level of sophistication is always stunning given the modest means at his disposal.

The albums that followed were less brilliant versions of the same concept: Improvisations And Edits (Soup-Disk, 2002), 1+3+1 (Scape, 2003), and the mediocre La Nouvelle Pauvrete (Scape, 2003).

Jelinek evolved towards a more luxuriant (less glitchy) form of electronic music with Kosmischer Pitch (scape, 2005), that, despite the title, has little in common with the "cosmic music" of the 1970s (the title refers to the fact that the sources are lifted from German rock records of the 1970s instead of jazz records), The fundamental principle was still one of slow variation within repetition, and the implementation was even more elegant. The highlight of the album is the last piece, the eight-minute Morphing Leadgitarre Rckwrts, a refracted electronic phrase disturbed by a ticking/plucking sound. Universal Band Silhouette (7:06) slowly mutates from a sparse beginning to a dense looping texture. Lemminge Und Lurchen Inc (3:50) juxtaposes a repetitive electronic noise and gamelan-like percussion Im Diskodickicht (5:22) rediscovers rhythm as a product of robotic metronomy in a jungle of mechanical noises. Vibraphonspulen (5:39) is a carillon of disorienting timbres. Industrial noises create an intricate polyrhythmic lattice in Lithiummelodie 1 (6:57). A jazzy feeling resurfaces in the fractured swing of Western Mimikry (3:07).

In the six pieces of Tierbeobachtungen (Scape, 2006) the beat had all but disappeared, replaced by the rhythms of the loops that permeated the compositions. The loop was, in fact, the main compositional tool employed by Jelinek. A Concert For Television (8:03) is de facto a concerto of musique concrete, mixing what sounds like church bells and a small crowd of whining synthesizers. Palmen Aus Leder (7:12) is unusually disquieting for his relatively mellow standards: there is something terrible and subhuman about the looping sounds, like post-nuclear monsters scouring the ruins for signs of life. The Ballad Of Soap. Und: Die GEMA Nimmt Kontakt Auf (7:43) is also eerie, in that it sounds like a blues from a otherworldly place and a future age. Another magical act of transformation, Happening Tone (7:12) slowly configures itself as an electronic poem reflecting on the Indian raga. Compared with previous works, the harsh Up To My Same Old Trick Again (6:39) and the ethereal Tierbeobachtung (6:01) also display a edgier semantics. This album is perhaps Jelinek's most varied and exuberant work.

Jelinek is also active as Farben (microhouse) and Gramm (minimal techno).

(Translation by/ Tradotto da CrackedTeapot

Nel dirompente Loop Finding Jazz Records (Scape, 2001) Jan Jelinek fonde line di basso jazz/funk (prelevate da vecchi dischi), minimalismo ripetitivo, glitch house e trip hop, così come in Improvisations And Edits (Soup-Disk, 2002), 1+3+1 (Scape, 2003), e nel meno ispirato La Nouvelle Pauvrete (Scape, 2003).

Successivamente si è evoluto verso un'elettronica più lussuriosa con Kosmischer Pitch (scape, 2005), che nonostante il titolo ha poco in comune con la musica 'cosmica' degli anni '70 (il titolo suggerisce che le fonti sono costituite più dal rock tedesco dei '70 che dal jazz), e Tierbeobachtungen (Scape, 2006), nel quale il ritmo non è scomparso, anche se viene tessuto dai loops che permeano le composizioni.

Il loop è effettivamente l'elemento compositivo principale impiegato da Jelinek.

Jelinek è attivo anche come Farben (microhouse) e Gramm (minimal techno).

Gesellschaft Zur Emanzipation Des Samples (or Society For The Emancipation Of Samples) is a project by Jelinek that constructed Circulations (Faitiche, 2009) out of copyrighted sounds played in public spaces.

Jelinek also concocted the fictitious story of an early synthesizer experimenter, Ursula Bogner, who died in 1994, and collected her vintage recordings on Recordings 1969-1988 (Faitiche, 2009), the single Pluto Hat Einen Mond (Mass Media Verlag) and Sonne = Black Box (Faitiche, 2011).

The contemplative ambient music of Bird Lake Objects (Faitiche, 2010) was the result of a collaboration between Jan Jelinek and Japanese vibraphonist Masayoshi Fujita. Far from static, the nine-minute Undercurrent undergoes all sorts of gentle transformations, like the surface of a pond at sunset, and then suddenly an abrasive noise soars above the surface and buries the music. Workshop For Modernity is a swarm of insects playing with chimes. The eight-minute I'll Change Your Life is subliminal brain waves of deep sleep. The seven-minute Waltz is an aquatic dance jam for fairy creatures. The experiment was continued six years later on the less ambitious Schaum (Faitiche, 2016) but here the music is limited to impressionistic vignettes that mix minimalist repetition and cosmic droning (Cin) or imagine alien soundscapes populated by robotic ducks (Helio) or intone dissonant industrial songs (What you should Know about me) or document ghostly conversations with the otherworld (Botuto). The nine-minute Parades is a slow transcendental plunge into the hidden geometry of a crystal.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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