Miles Tilmann: Yes & No
Consumers Research & Development

Coming after the release of a number of singles (including the 10-inch Over and Through and recent Xenon EP, both Consumers products), Yes and No is, surprisingly, Miles Tilmann's first full-length album. It defies easy categorization despite sharing certain qualities with genres like IDM and electro; regardless, it offers a deft blueprint for the production of invigorating music: first, avoid bloat and over-ponderousness (Tilmann's twelve cuts total a trim thirty-eight minutes) and, second, infuse material with energized punch so that, even when it suggests a known genre, it still sounds fresh and new.

Yes and No begins with a galaxial overture (“Last Chance”) that's as cinematic as one might expect but gets down to real business with the pulsating slam of “Ricochet,” all gleaming synths and kicking beats—Kraftwerk boogie of the funkiest vintage. Tilmann chills the pace with an occasional interlude (what he calls an 'ambient bridge') like the stately “Revolving Door” and shows with the pulsating “Minutes” he's adept at minimal dub too. Elsewhere, “Xenon” may flirt more with ambient sparkle in its upper spheres but, down below, its rolling funk groove defines it as a dance track while the incredible “Verticals” finds Tilmann donning his fractal geometry outfit and teleporting into the twelfth dimension. Though it's all high-quality stuff, tracks working a Mantronix-Drexciya vibe (e.g., “Deeps,” “Split the Middle”) are the pick of the litter, especially when their electro-funk grooves and sleepy bass lines are joined by tasty handclap accents. One of the nicest things about Tilmann's sound is its loose feel—which doesn't mean sloppy. Tunes like “Floating Windows” unfold with clear purpose yet still come across like breezy, open-ended explorations.

June 2006