CD Review

Robert Neiteler – “Ihbaiklhiko”

By Marcus Pan

IhbaiklhikoHere’s some strange stuff. First off, it’s a bit hard to review as there are no track names on this disc, it’s parts I – VI of wackily interesting electro pop. Put out by Robert Neiteler, half of the Naarmann & Neiteler duo, this is his first solo release. Taking elements of gabber and Sigue Sigue level programming, Ihbaiklhiko creates an atmosphere of surrealism and strangeness.

Part I will use deep growls of rumbling electronic fartings to lay a groundword of over the top weirdness. It comes dangerously close to silly with its outwardly poppy poofiness and sounds. Part II gets a bit deeper into an ambient strain at first, but stays fast moving. The sounds and melodies sound almost incomplete, like the notes were cut off before they reached their completion. Seemingly cut and paste like, a Burroughsian take towards music, it leaves you at least a little disconcerted.

Part III has some semblance of a rhythm at least, with tapping and birdsounds (as rhythm?!) and a swift movement. It’s almost a drum ‘n bass using a shopping cart and parakeets. Part V is a dirty grumbly piece with deep rumbling bass notes that don’t really connect with anything, being alone in the grey sky of the rest of the track. Track 6 is similar in that it’s mostly percussion, tip-tapping along with nowhere really to go. In cases like this, though, maybe having nowhere to go is ok…maybe being right here is just fine.

Ihbaiklhiko is certainly interesting stuff. It’s mostly directionless with no real sense of make-up, like a fluffy purple pillow with no definable edges or contour. It’s doubtful I’d find myself listening to this regularly really, it being something you put on to weird people out. There’s no other purpose to it other than to disconcert, shock and maybe annoy. The most interesting about it is one can’t help but to wonder where all of these weird sounds came from. They’re certainly not found in our natural world.

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