Berg Nixon: Box Escape

John Gaiser: And Answer

Down Windsor way, we get Minus EPs from Jon Gaiser and Berg Nixon (aka Ryan Crosson). With Gaiser a one-time drummer, it doesn't surprise that a strong percussive dimension emerges in And Answer's four playful cuts. Flailing blips and static noise stoke a finessed broil over a driving tech-house pulse in the title piece though there's too little dynamic contrast to recommend it unreservedly—minimal needn't mean monochrome, after all. With alternating intrusions of textured thrums and distorted voice samples colliding over a subtly roiling base, “Pandrip” fares better but it's the Kraftwerkian voice croaks spilling over the slamming groove in “Egress” that prove most memorable (apparently Richie Hawtin has been featuring the tune in his DJ sets since last fall).

Drawing upon the likes of Matthew Dear and Magda for past releases on Trapez and Telegraph, Crosson works up a tight pumping jack on Box Escape's four cuts. His Berg Nixon style parks itself midway between the exotic elasticism of Ricardo Villalobos and the elegant austerity of Plastikman. Hissing exhalations violently pan over burbling machine pulses in “The Depths” while “Abstraction” rocks infectious slapback techno.

June 2006