Boomkat Product Review:
Robert Lippok's perennially dazzling Mahler-sampling solo debut has been remastered and reissued at last, bundled with a new track made using the original archive of sounds - if you've never heard this one before, you're in for a treat.
We can just about remember when we first heard 'Open Close Open' way back in 2001, and over two decades later it's still got us in a headlock. It was an unexpected move for Carsten Nicolai's buttoned-up Raster-Noton label - Lippok was best known for his work with To Rococo Rot, far more organic gear than you'd expect from the imprint at the dead center of the glitch revolution. But Lippok helped bridge a gap, working with a modest, restrained set of loops, samples and field recordings to create a short, memorable suite that helped extend Raster's range.
'Open' slots into the Raster world surprisingly perfectly, sounding sonically adjacent to Jan Jelinek's iconic Farben material with plasticky pops and scraped, microscopic loops. It also reaches back to Lippok's own past, sounding not a million miles from To Rococo Rot's fluttery 'An Amateur View', albeit without the guitar and drums. But the EP hits its stride with 'Close', possibly the most stirring track Lippok has ever produced. Snatching a lengthy slice of the Adagietto from Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 5, Lippok smears the edges quixotically, bitcrushing animal sounds and rattling furniture. It's a heartbreaking piece that even subtly references the title: doors open and close, inviting the world in and then shutting it out completely.
Astonishingly, Lippok went back to his (clearly well-organized) archives for this new reissue, producing an additional track, 'Licht', using the original set of samples. And although it doesn't provide the same gut punch as 'Close', it's a tidy, dubby coda to one of our favorite Raster releases.