Miles Tilmann: Xenon EP
Consumers Research & Development

While not wishing to collapse a label's stylistic breadth into too simple an equation, IDM (Signaldrift, Miles Tilmann) appears to be the third apex of Consumers' triangle with instrumental hip-hop (Innerstance.beatbox) and post-rock (The Timeout Drawer) the other two. Tilmann's an old hand at this sort of thing, having previously issued material on Toytronic (the 12-inch 3D Concepts), sub:marine (Underland CD), and Consumers itself (the 10-inch Over and Through) but, significantly, the 18-minute Xenon EP is his first substantial release in two years.

Fans of 'Robot Music' artists like Solvent and Lowfish will find much to like about the disc, specifically Tilmann's streaming synth sparkle, handclap accents, and bubbly drum machine beats. Still, while the disc's three “Xenon” pieces (variations of a track on the forthcoming Yes & No album) are satisfying exercises in fluid atmospherics and crisp beat sculpting (check out the lush “Xenon (Edit)” with its serpentine bass stream, wiry melodies, and snappy snare breaks, and the spindly dub-funk haze of “Xenon (Flame)”), the EP's most entrancing moments emerge via the gleaming machine bliss of “Bots” and sweetly loping electro-funk groove of “Wrong Move.”

March 2006