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Karl Zeiss MP3

On the website of Red Antenna Records, a distinction is made between commercial recordings and what the label calls “online objects,” or sets of free MP3 downloads. Often enough though, MP3s are located on the site’s promotional pages for its traditional commercial recordings, those physical objects known as CDs and 12″s. Red Antenna’s Karl Zeiss has recently resurfaced with a four-song 12″ single, Currency, one track of which is available for free download (page here, file here). “Guilder” is at best a handful of sound elements removed from microhouse, so deadly flat is its hypnotic rhythm and mechanized its terse funk (and yes, in this realm those are terms of endearment). The theme is so staid that over time it seems more complicated than it is, in part because Zeiss replays it in a mix of four- and eight-bar sets, which provides an element of occasional low-impact surprise, and also because on each repetition the melody forced through yet another different digital filter. And since “Guilder” starts exactly as it ends, with an unadorned beat, it can be looped forever. (More on Red Antenna at redantenna.tv.)

By Marc Weidenbaum

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