Friday, October 22, 2010

Song of the Day 10/22: "A Paw in My Face"

From Here We Go Sublime is Axel Willner's debut full-length album. The producer, on German electronic music label Kompakt, makes trance music that is more fit for the living room than for a giant dance club. Willner definitely draws elements from glitch, creating a style that has a surprisingly wide dynamic range owed to the combination of the fluidity of trance and the choppiness of glitch. The album also has a minimalist feel to it, which makes it feel at home on Kompakt. This may sound contradictory, but Willner makes it work. "A Paw in My Face" illustrates this concept beautifully. Willner starts with a chopped-up guitar sample (sampled from Lionel Ritchie's "Hello") looped until he brings in a simple drum track. He gradually makes this more complex, introducing new melodic and percussive tracks until he dives into a new hook. He builds on this for the next few minutes, introducing phased sounds—almost like a Leslie rotary speaker—before breaking down the tempo of the song right before the end. The only thing one can wish for at this breakdown is that he keeps going. This becomes the theme of the entire album. His formula may be a bit repetitive, but he manages to keep the sound fresh enough that you'll always want more of it.

— Prasanna Swaminathan

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