The album Frerk by My First Trumpet is less electro-acoustic than it is indie-electronic. The Hamburg, Germany-based Trumpet (born Kevin Hamman) mixes the shopworn rhythms and mood of indie pop with lo-fi digital instrumentation and effects. The Frerk track “Autonarkose,” for example, blips along like the perfect soundtrack to a bike ride through suburbia: clackety, downtempo instrumental pop just this side of maudlin (MP3). Well, a very short bike ride, unless you put it on repeat.
Another track, “D Kitt,” sets a simple guitar line above one of the most minimal drum patterns imaginable, but the piece eventually blossoms into something fuller, even if the result feels more like a rough draft than a finished piece (MP3). Of course, that sketchbook quality is part of the album’s considerable charm. The songs on Frerk add layers as if they had been recorded on an old four-track, and a bridge always arrives just in time to keep your feet from getting too cozy with the groove.
What’s enticing about all of Hamman’s songs is the threadbare elements from which they’re built. And if you desire to focus on the sounds themselves, then the song that closes the album, “The Owl Likes to Bowl,” is worth hanging around for, or jumping ahead to. Sedative little tones inch their near-melodic way above a lightly squelchy foundation, and the song effortlessly resists the urge to become anything more than it is (MP3). It’s like a song that consists entirely of a bridge, just an elegant, attenuated pause.