Pellarin & Lenler: Going Through Phases
Statler & Waldorf

Going Through Phases, the debut release from collaborators Lars Pellarin and Kim Lenler, nurtures a rather faded style of machine-based dub-techno that's reminiscent of the cool, metallic style associated with Basic Channel/Chain Reaction. Pellarin and Lenler occasionally add vocalists to the minimal yet still heavily textured mix, which is sometimes a good thing (Pernille Pang on “Catalan,” Antenne on “Taiko”) and sometimes, frankly, not so good (Raz Ohara's constipated vocal on “Restless” is so fragile it seems to struggle to get the words out, and the woeful, off-key singing on “Fell A Mile” verges on painful).

Incorporating tiny elements of old hip-hop, soul, techno, acid, and dub, Pellarin and Lenler apparently set out to merge R'n'B with Chain Reaction. It's a great idea with incredible promise but, unfortunately, not terribly well-served here. The microsound “Intro” doesn't initiate the collection promisingly and “Jensen” and “Tribute to Eric B” are too brief to leave much of an impression. There are some good tracks (e.g., “Den pigeglade landsretssagfører”) and the fusion of hip-hop and dub-techno is decently realized in “Soul.” The album succeeds most during its liveliest moments (“Skyskraberen på Bellahøj” and especially “Dekadance”) but, in toto, it's difficult to get too excited about Going Through Phases, especially when one considers the remarkable potential a R'n'B-Chain Reaction fusion offers. This album seems a too-listless realization of the concept.

July 2006