Rumpistol: Dynamo

With Dynamo, the third Rumpistol album and first after a three-year interval, Danish electronic producer Jens Berents Christiansen shows he's kept his ears to the ground and nicely expanded on his past work, particularly in the heavier rhythm emphasis that pervades the new material. More specifically, the Rump Recordings head bolsters the album's eight songs with bass-heavy funk and dubstep grooves, a move that reaps significant rewards.

He often exploits the contrast that naturally arises when gentle, melancholy melodies butt up against aggressive rhythms, and when traditional instruments (piano, acoustic guitar, glockenspiel, melodica, strings) merge with synthetic (electronics, synthesizers, drum machines). Hear, for instance, in “Beito” the distinctive result that comes from pairing delicate string melodies and a whiplash dubstep groove. In like manner, the nimble pluck of a thumb piano melody glides over a surging throb in “Transit” while “Mobile” pairs elegant piano playing while a bomb-dropping funk pulse. Check out as well the pile-driving groove that thunders through “Refleksion” and the serpentine beat flow coursing through “Dynamo.”

He certainly hasn't retired the detail-packed style of his previous Rumpistol output. In fact, Christiansen packs such an incredible amount of detail into the latest tracks, one sometimes longs for a few moments of empty space to provide some breathing room. That's pretty much the only downside, however, and he's also to be applauded for the album's concision; so few albums weigh in at forty-four minutes these days, Dynamo stands out for being the rare and welcome exception .

November 2008