Boomkat Product Review:
Remastered and reissued for the first time physically, 'Die Wiederholung...' is Raster veteran Grischa Lichtenberger's rickety 2005 debut album, all harsh, metallic glitch-fried rhythms and rasping analog distortion. Revelatory stuff, honestly.
When we think back to glitch music in 2005, it feels like the point where the digital-pilled microgenre was taking its dying breaths. Sure, Raster Noton was still churning out icy, minimalist statements draped in suitably spartan artwork, but as digital technology evolved to fix its bugs and the CD lost its luster, the aesthetic became less vital - less contemporary. At this stage, the glitch has become a color in a vast palette of digital sounds, but it's hard to believe that genres like hyperpop would have developed without its messy input. Listening to Lichtenberger's debut now captures that transitional moment: it's nowhere near as cold and minimal as the music that came prior, or as bombastic and cheeky as the sounds that would follow it.
The German artist was inspired at the time by the history of European and American relations, and the shifting importance of analog and digital technology. The title translates as 'the repetition of the history of American rootlessness', and Lichtenberger prods at this concept relentlessly, using trace echoes of '90s indie rock music and teasing the energy out of those bolshy rhythms and riffs. There are no identifiable samples or quirky references, but on tracks like 'sinus lfo graindrloop phrasiert' it's hard not to notice the blown-out stadium drums as they grate against crisp, digital noise. 'grainmelo lfo hoerner nivellierung' initially sounds more in line with Autechre, but pulls away with its distorted analog processing, piping its crunches through a chain of dynamic-squashing processes.
There are even more tender moments to find, like 'durchquerung vocalsmpl drloop', a timestretched lullaby that splays rough laptop-munged growls over horizontal vocal granulations. But it's the bombastic instants that sound as if they're most relevant to the timeline: 'rezeptionsexperiment hoersaallautsprecher nivellierung' is surprisingly contemporary, corrupting a gurgling synth into raw, distorted rock guitar over blazing, bass-heavy machine bumps.