Kilo: Augarten

Kilo (Viennese artists Florian Bogner and Markus Urban) inhabits a stylistic interzone perched midway between glitchy folktronica, Kompakt-styled Pop Ambient, and textured microhouse. More specifically, Augarten suggests some imaginary spawn of F.S. Blumm, Rechenzentrum, and Jan Jelinek; one could be easily convinced, for example, that the opener “Farn” is a countrified remix of a Jelinek track. Strangely enough, given the breezy splendour of Kilo's fragile sound, Bogner and Urban are both ex-guitarists of garage bands; still, there's no shortage of guitar on the album, even if it's predominantly acoustic.

The group's sound is typically languid and dreamy, with plucked acoustic guitars floating through glitch-laden landscapes anchored by insistent 4/4 bass drum pulses. While many of the album's nine, rather minimalistic pieces boast equal doses of both genres, some flirt more with one than the other: “Fanni” and the title track are both delectably atmospheric, glitchy microhouse, while the haunting “The Nest/Girl in the Woods” closes the album in gentle folktronic mode. With its trademark glitchy shuffle, “Bet” sounds like it escaped from the Rechenzentrum lab, while the swaying rhythms of “Fenster zum Diskozimmer” likewise recall the music of Marc Weiser and co. With its granulated crackling textures, harp-like strums, guitar picking, and lightly skipping rhythms, the folktronica-microhouse fusion “* is the magic number” exudes a bucolic, oasis-like sparkle that's particularly lovely.

May 2005