The Exposures: Lost Recordings 2000-2004
Eastern Developments

One could spend hours parsing the deliberately obfuscatory info accompanying Lost Recordings 2000-2004 before deciding whether it's a thinly-veiled solo endeavour by Jan Jelinek or, as is proposed, a trio outing from 'three immensely talented composers' named M. Cretu, N. Gratin, and O. Grouton (the conceit being that Jelinek rescued the trio, a ghost writer team, from oblivion by inviting them to participate in his 2003 release La Nouvelle Pauvreté). Or you could ignore altogether an issue that's ultimately of negligible importance and instead focus on the album's slow, stylish, and sensual sounds. Certainly Jelinek's signature is all over it, with The Exposures' android soul strongly recalling his Farben style (the languid “Theme of 'Ifs Ands & Buts',” in particular, recalls Textstar). At times, the material suggests a Prefuse 73-Farben fusion, especially in the opener “Collage of Digital Passion”; constructed from countless R'n'B 'love' samples, the piece marries Prefuse-styled hiccup with voice snippets and wavering Jelinek thrum. Elsewhere, hiccupping pauses add delectable contrast to the funk smears of “Post-Crossings,” while vibes meander over an ocean of crackle, hiss, and clicks in “Ein Lied für Frau Thyssen-Henne.” Contrast arrives in the aptly titled “A Machine Under Influence” (purportedly a live track recorded at the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg performed to bolster production) which ascends to a disorienting roar over the course of its three minutes.

While there's something to be said for brevity in an era of excessively long CD recordings, trainspotters should note that Lost Recordings 2000-2004 clocks in at a mere twenty-four minutes, making it more akin to a mini-album or even EP. Despite its brevity, the subtle and constantly morphing detail throughout is captivating, making the release sound more substantial than its running time might suggest. The dubby, soulful lilt conjured in the languorous “Das freundliche Rocksichord” in just over two minutes, for example, is simply beautiful.

May 2005