CD Review

Compest – “Kryptozoologie”

By Marcus Pan

KryptozoologieYet another undecipherable disk from across the ocean. Einzelheit drop off Compest's Kryptozoologie (I'm guessing this is the name) and describes it as "groovy beats." There's five tracks according to my CD player – though I don't know what to call them. There's no track listing, liner notes (not that I'd be able to read them), etc. Strangely enough the electro-blippy Compest do a decent job on the first of the tracks on this disc...strange spacey ambient sounds dissolve into a tribe like beat that keeps pace somehow with the ether. Kudos to creator Martin Steinebach, at least at the outset.

Very minimal is Kryptozoologie and it has a modern computeresque bent to its soundscapes. The second track slides staccatto tinkling triangles and an otherworldy gong to the mix for a very surreal experience. This builds into a musical track rather than a purely background ambient track and does so beautifully using the bells as a base to slide chorales of keys into the mix. The track gets bleatingly elusive and illucid as it drives to a close and I'm wondering if this will be one of the very few ambient CDs I keep in my personal collection when I'm done writing this.

Track 3 adds an almost carnival atmosphere with its lilting merry go round musicals. Track 4 is bubbly...and not the little bright flying bubbles. These are the big bubbles that take you three minutes to blow up and that kind of wobble in a semi-circular manner while lazily floating about before bursting at random sending soapy streamers everywhere. The CD's fifth and closing track ends with a controlled metallic-beat cacophony that, somehow, is kept in check by a light tinkling synth that gives a meek overcomes the strong feel...a brilliantly climactic close to Kryptozoologie.

Overall I liked Kryptozoologie. It was minimal yet interesting. Smooth but with the occasional ear knock, Martin Steinebach did a fine job with the arrangement here. The tracks build, return to themselves, build again...all in succession and all leading the ears and mind along as it goes. Well done!

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