A few days after his interview on Disquiet.com (“Shawnee for ‘Laptop'”), Brad Mitchell (aka Pocka) has posted a new set of MP3 files on the netlabel he runs, Kikapu.com. Number 58 in the label’s catalog, Veem‘s Station album is an hour of instrumentals, its seven tracks clinically labeled “000” through “600.” It opens with ten minutes straight of far out space drones, deep clouds of sound crossing each other like porous Venn diagrams. As if for the sake of orientation, toward the end a pulse appears, a beep really, every 10 seconds or so, too infrequently to serve any traditional rhythmic purpose. It’s like a pod slowly arriving from the other side of the galaxy — no doubt trafficking a load of classic white-label singles lifted from a multi-tentacled DJ in the Beta Pictoris solar system.
The pod beeps its last beep in time to usher in track two, “001,” which is one of the better songs in recent memory to play with sort of “ping pong” sound that both Monolake and Plastikman experimented with on their recent albums. The simple beats are set in motion, slowly building up rhythmic complexity. Not too soon, elements that last more than a split second begin to appear, and as the track nears the four-minute mark these longer phrases become the dominant motif. To that extent, “001” is the opposite of “000” — its beats disappear into, rather than out of, the haze. The remaining tracks run the gamut, from a loose jazzy electric piano melody (“002”) to jangly detuned guitar lines (“005”) to, in the end (“006”), a fairly bouncy bit of wordless pop. (Kikapu at kikapu.com; Veem album here.)