- Since moving to Hamburg in 2009, Christopher Rau has concentrated most of his releases—including last year's album—on local imprints Dial and Smallville. Pea Gravel is his first for Hypercolour, and also introduces his friend, Tilman Tausendfreund. The eponymous track—one of two collaborations between the duo—is laid out around moody chords which are almost John Tejada-like in the way they cascade repeatedly towards the floor. It could potentially have been a very introspective tune, but for the impelling percussion, which shuffles along at high speed with a cautious-sounding bassline. Next up is "Dtrh," which stops just short of four minutes. For a good portion, a filter is applied to the whole piece, rather than just an individual element. As a result, it sounds as if it's inching out of water; muffled at first but with more clarity as time goes on.
Tausendfruend's solo effort, "Lost Treasure of the Juggernaught," is about as energetic as house gets. From the get-go, its metallic shakers and tinny claps propel things forward without pause. The melodic elements sound like a guitar in reverse, a kind of not-quite-plucked vibration which frantically tries to maintain the pace. The most interesting (and potentially upsetting) parts, however, are the regular stutters scattered through the track. It's as if you're listening to a frequently-skipping record. In many cases these probably wouldn't work, but the frenetic nature of "Lost Treasure" seems to bear it well. Rau's solo track, meanwhile, is full of frustration. Literally. There are wails which run most of the way through its length. This culminates in an angry, key-smashing piano loop which reveals itself at the four minute mark. The tetchy mood is pretty unique, and it's just one of the things that make this record worth listening to.
A1 Tilman Tausendfreund - Lost Treasure Of The Juggernaut
A2 Christopher Rau & Tilman Tausendfreund - Pea Gravel
B1 Christopher Rau - Last Time Was So Good
B2 Christopher Rau & Tilman Tausendfreund - Dtrh