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ARCHITEKTUR - TRAVELOGUE
Architektur's debut album features an eclectic mix of Classical, Swing & Jazz inspired Downbeat and Dub. After nearly a decade dedicated to "Headz" music, Architektur's influences are now reinvented. From the dark "The Smoker" to the meditational "Mantra", Architektur introduces soundscapes that are both cerebral and inspired.
"Travelogue" requires multiple listens to even begin to appreciate the depths of its treasures. Rather than falling into the familiar reggae-inspired vibe of much dub (though this album isn't without that influence), there is a much more ambient and experimental approach here. Yet the atmosphere conjured doesn't alienate the less adventurous listener - for the palpable mood is the very thing that envelopes the happy hearer of Architektur's mesmerizing release. Waves of stylishness wash across the listener, with many shifts and surprises along the way. "Travelogue" is also sample-heavy, with odd bits of dialogue and verbage only adding to the curious resonance of this compelling album.
4.5 Stars - Kristofer Upjohn (Raves.com / djfix.com)
If you're wondering what's going to be playing in the halls of the mothership when we're all forced to leave this planet due to inevitable Malthusian catastrophe - Wall-E style, mark our words - you're reading the right review. One can easily image deciding between food pod rations whilst tapping their anti-gravity space-shoes to the retro organs and disembodied voiceovers of "Ubahn (Underground)" as it wafts from the consumption depot speakers. Stroll down the promenade and gaze out into the depths of space as the eerie 1920s big band drowns in molten reverb before the leering percussion tears you away in "Misinformation." Finally, contemplate the ignominious fate of mankind at 3 a.m. some distant morning on your beige bunk in sector 4B, doomed to hurtle through the cosmos to the innocuous jazz pastiche and swirling detritus of closing track "Mantra." In short, this is an album to scare the pants off sci-fi enthusiasts, so pick up your favorite dystopian nightmare and shove these crazy jams in your ear.
- Joshua Huck (Austinist.com)
Architektur's album is an uncomfortable mix of those sounds that seem to be embedded in the walls of lifestyle lounges across the globe, jazzy little ethnically inclined samples of uncertain origin - there are no source musician credits - a sinking low into the luxurious sofa experience, with dubby sonics - the diminutive is intended - and mind boggling juxtapositions bagged together in a mix and scattered over an otherwise over smoove mix. Apparently the artist has played across the globe since 2000, I was expecting a more city centred sound and what better cities than Austin - where he's based - and Vienna to create some atmospheres, but when its attempted on the track "Misinformation" the forties swing band in the middle of a jiggly reggae tune is just like a thumb in the eye and again on "Speedball" where Meat Beat Manifesto collides with Shorty Rogers. Totally perplexing is perhaps the point.
- Steve Barker (Wire Magazine / On The Wire - BBC Radio)
(Polish Translation) Jazz, downtempo, dub - how many times have we spoke about them here? As you can see it's still not enough for us. For we have another great chance to listen to those sounds because of a new album from Burning Bowl Records. It's Architektur that I have in my mind and his lazy electronic-sound that for sure isn't a boring, secondary lame duck.
Although "Travelogue" is the first Architektur LP, we cannot talk about him like a debutant musician. He's one of those people who lives with music since ever. For many years he appeared regulary, host (radio) broadcast and creates music for film. Recently he tried his hand in making a compilation. And maybe that's the reason for surprising maturity and professionalism in making music.
The thing that Architektur primarily proposes to give to us is a kind of a splendor for chillout rythms, which for years were produced by Kruder & Dorfmeister or Thievery Corporation. Of course our musician doesn't create his music better or in some revelatory way, but the final effect - this blissful relaxation that comes to the listener - is achieved perfectly. The album has been created just like that, with no pressure of brand new music landscapes, but with a background of well known techniques. Remarkably selected jazz and - rarely - swing samples are start-point for nice, sweet music themes. The theme of the album is Vienna: from one hand it's chillout, perfect for a relaxing walk during a warm afternoon, but on the other hand - dub, coming out from the metro tunnels. This stylistic cocktail combined with an interesting sound and high-level production creates very good music material. The fact is that these sounds won't surprise you, but well worth listening to them carefully to see their hidden potential.
"Travelogue" has one major flaw; it was released a few years too late. It doesn't mean that it's a copy of an old, well known downtempo albums. I'm just afraid that Architektur will have a difficult task reaching a wider audience, who feel a bit of a glut for that kind of music. A shame, because his debut album is one of the nicest music I've reviewed in a long time. So maybe it's worth taking a chance and trying lazy downtempo once again?
- Rafal Mackowski (80bpm.net)
A dense, layered, fascinating effort from Austin, TX. "Travelouge" requires mulitple listens to even begin to delve into. The most apt desciption would be swirling through film scores while on a mild mannered mushroom trip. A gentle yet intense journey through a world of dubbed out beats and textures. Swimming through jazzy chords, psychedelic theremin patches and plucked strings. Not background music by any means, the album is best enjoyed through headphones after a night of partying, when your too high to sleep and don't want to watch a movie. A fine release that is cinematic in a way few acts can achieve. Excellent listening but not for the faint of heart.
- Brian Gerhard (Massive Music America / couerdazure.com)
Do not look on a map, give up any benchmark, forget the signs, do not try to know where you are going... simply let yourself be guided, transported, inspired with the musical reading of each page of the first travel narrative, (Travelogue) by Architektur. As a solo artist, he took parallel roads, off the beaten path, often he took a departure to escape the familiar scene, his impressions of voyages can seem diverting, unstructured, disconcerting, chaotic. Sometimes even anachronistic, as if he came back on paths taken a few years earlier, a good decade ago, by Thievery Corporation or Tosca. But as they explore or revisit often ignored musical territories, the performances are never inconsistent, and cannot remain indifferent.
Because a narrative written from day to day, depending on meetings, the 11 chapters of Travelogue are nourished, enriched by this diversity to show their individuality. Starting from a base of Downtempo, Downbeat, Architektur grafted with small touches of sounds picked up throughout his journey. A sort of crossing of the United States (since his stronghold is in Austin, Texas) interspersed with glimpses into the basement Viennese electro and intergalactic exploration, such as "When it Rains", which also incorporates a touch of progressive rock. Dub touches are also distilled throughout ("The Smoker", The Waz Experience remix version and "Misinformation").
But Travelogue is primarily an exploration of different facets of NuJazz. Often free, sometimes fusion, incidentally acid, this course constitutes the true foundation of the album and support of all of the breaks, as they are conducive to Hindu meditation ("Mantra"), or strolling in an urban environment where one would emerge at each corner with a suffocating feeling and a need to escape ("Ubahn", "Hypnotic State"). Especially, as with every journey, it is necessary to take time, time to integrate, digest the sum of experiences. With immediacy, one retains only partial memories, truncated. When the duration takes part with their indelible comprehension and pleasure. Travelogue is no exception to this rule. To return after the first listen reciprocates not with a polite invitation, but an obligation to discover and to appreciate it thoroughly. It is Indispensable to absorb this sonic journey.
-3.5 Stars - Stephane le Henaff (Trip-Hop.net)
CHARTS / RANKINGS
- Travelogue - A Groove Distribution "Exclusive"
- Architektur - #4 Reverbnation "Top 10" Electronica Charts in Raleigh (2/14)
- Travelogue - #5 Juno "Top 10" Dub Recommendations (3/10)
Charts / Rankings (2009):
- Travelogue - #43 KALX 90.7 FM "Top 100" Releases for January
- Travelogue - #6 KPFA 94.1 FM RPM Chart (01/19)
- Travelogue - #10 KPFA 94.1 FM RPM Chart (01/12)
Charts / Rankings (2008):
- Architektur "The Smoker" - "Favourite Tracks of 2008" (Rupert-Mennert Radio / NL)
- Architektur "The Smoker" - "Dubmission 2008 Rewind - Best Of" (WYEP 91.3 FM / US)
- Architektur "Ubahn (Underground)" - "Sub-Zero 2008 Highlights" (RUA 102.7FM / PT)
- "The Smoker (Resmoked by The Waz Exp)" - "2008 In Dub - Best Of" (WLUW 88.7FM / US)
- Ohm "Helium Voices" - "Sub-Zero 2008 Highlights" (RUA 102.7FM / PT)
- Professor Oz "Whatever The Sun Feat: Sugar B" - "2008 In Dub - Best Of" (WLUW 88.7FM / US)
- Travelogue - #5 "Best Of 2008" - Rupert-Mennert Radio
- Travelogue - #7 KPFA 94.1 FM RPM Chart (11/10)
- Travelogue - #10 KPFA 94.1 FM RPM Chart (10/20)
- Travelogue - #4 KPFA 94.1 FM RPM Chart (09/22)
- Travelogue - #11 KVRX 91.7 FM Topless 39 (09/19)
- Travelogue - #10 KUCI 88.9 FM Top 30 (08/27)
- Musik For Film - "Top Dubs For 2008" - Off The Beaten Path (KPFA 94.1FM / US)
- Musik For Film - #10 KPFA 94.1 FM RPM Chart (11/24)
- Musik For Film - #3 KPFA 94.1 FM RPM Chart (10/27)
- Musik For Film - #5 KPFA 94.1 FM RPM Chart (10/20)
- Musik For Film - #4 KPFA 94.1 FM RPM Chart (10/13)
- Musik For Film - #1 KPFA 94.1 FM RPM Chart (09/22)
- Musik For Film - #1 Album - Properly Chilled (09/21)
- Burning Bowl - #1 Label - Properly Chilled (09/21)
V/A - MUSIK FOR FILM
A collection of some of the most influential and established artists in Downbeat. This disc brings together an array of artists rarely heard in today's martini, cartoon, & sofa "Chillout" compilations. A record that provides quality, depth and a musical awareness that helps reaffirm this genre's presence and at the same time, offers a superior introduction to those still new to Downbeat, Headz & Dub music. Complete Artist Line-up
"Musik for Film" from Burning Bowl Records generates an atmosphere of unassuming transcendence - sublime peace, if you will - with its fusion of jazz, reggae, R&B, classic Euro-soundtrack styles, world, chillout in a dub construct that is over far too soon. Once engaged in the oft unpredictable grooves of "Musik for Film," it's a guarantee no other CD is gonna get put on until this one's played out - at least once. Instrumental captivation shares space with alluring vocal segments. And while an aura is established that carries throughout the CD, every track has its distinctive expression. Warm and cool at once, "Musik for Film" has appeal that goes beyond the realm of dub fans. Those with like competent mashes of styles and dig a hook that touches deep but doesn't force itself on your brain will gladly be consumed by this gentle but potent force.
4.5 Stars - Kristofer Upjohn (Raves.com / djfix.com)
This compilation features elusively tight cuts. The kind that you could hear inside an independent movie theatre in Europe. But to call this a cinematic presentation of the finest downbeat and dub is nothing short of an understatement. Most of the artists here were either born in Austria or moved to the mountainous country at some point in their careers. Professor Oz, who brings us the opening number "Whatever the Sun", is one good example. Born in Paris, he eventually relocated to Vienna to meet Sugar B, also credited on the track, and Richard Dorfmeister of Tosca.
Following the inaugural track, punctuated by dub licks and languid beats, is the Viennese electronic scene at its most infatuated. Markus Dohelsky, also performing under the Shanti Roots moniker, lends his reggae-flavored approach to the good skills of Scheibosan, the musical equivalent of a nomad, having played before crowds not only in his native Austria but also in Hungary, Greece and Brazil. Moving up a notch, the record gets all trip-hoppy and scratchy with the Los Angeles-based band Lazy, which was founded by former members of Supreme Beings of Leisure.
But if "Love Robbery" sounds a lot like Portishead circa the 90s, Sin's "Game of Despise" has a true erotic vibe. From the cold Norwegian shores comes the Xploding Plastix (named after Andy Warhols' series of multimedia events that rocked the late 60s) with a furtive yet catchy "Treat Me Mean, I Need the Reputation". By the time the CD player hits two exquisite marks, namely via Stefan Obermaier's funkiness, and See-I's stylistic world journey (the link with Thievery Corporation is obvious), the record hits this listener's most eclectic nerve.
In less than two minutes, All India Radio, actually coming from down under, manages to deliver fat guitar lines and loose beats that exhale a perfume so gallantly pop and movie-like. And while "Tuf Luv Dub" is on it's not difficult to understand why multi-instrumentalist Jamie Saft has such a brilliant resume, having worked with John Zorn, Laurie Anderson, and the Beastie Boys, among others. That, and the following track "Smoker's Funk", by the Italo-German ensemble The Waz Experience, seem to have been composed under the influence of the kind of weed smoked in spaceships if smoking was allowed in such endeavors.
The record's final moments are more distractive and thus disruptive, ranging from the conscious sloppiness of Ohm's "Helium Voices" to the raggaready treatment of Austin's Canartic amicably challenging Austrian experimental wizard Karl Stirner, and the electronic dreams in color of Theremin-lovers Sundae Club. "Musik For Film" has so many stylistic deviations that make this material suitable for the most obscure spaghetti western, as well as the hypothetical next chapter of the intergalactic wars.
- Helder Gomes (Properly Chilled / Coffee Breakz)
Our ears are tired of computer-made tracks with gigabytes of delayed samples, but we have to admit that it's a "style" in its own right. And some times in some environments (not only hotel lobbies) this smooth rythms are very effective. Architektur's 'Musik for Film' is a nice compilation of lounge music containing 14 ultra-clean ultra-delayed ultra-tabla ultra-wahwah ultra-flute tracks. Architektur's compilation is the playlist for your next loft-party.
Grade B - Triphop.hu
"Big up to Architektur, the man behind the great 'Musik for Film' compilation on Burning Bowl Records. This cd is a must-have for every downbeat/chilled dub fan...great stuff!!"
- Youri van Driessche (FM Brussels)
"The perfect loungey, dubby, Downtempo escape from Architektur...lovely album, lovely album, I can't say anything more"
- Menno Jager (Rupert-Mennert radio / Play.fm / NL)
"the ultra-cool new label Burning Bowl we featured several tracks on the excellent "Musik for Film" compilation"
- Dr. StrangeDub / Echo Chamber (KFAI 90.3 FM / MN)
"Fantastic Burning Bowl Releases...they are both outstanding. I've been playing selections on my dub-centric "Echo Beach" radio show here in Chicago and the reaction has been great! keep up the MASSIVE sounds!"
- Terry C. ("Echo Beach" / WLUW 88.7 FM / Chicago)
"absolutely superb, i'm enjoying the sound flow non stop!"
- Sue Sanchez (Smiles Recordings / AT)
"the smoker ROCKS! would love to download!"
- Erdem Tunakan (Cheap Records / AT)
(Russian translation) "this album (Travelogue) really deserves attention...a mixture of jazz and downtempo. A deep, liquid sound and surrealistic atmosphere. A great album for a trip in itself."
- Samoe Vremya (Now Is The Time)
"DJ Architektur played the dreamiest, trippiest music I'd heard in many moons"
- Stephen MacMillan Moser (Austin Chronicle)
"We luxuriated in the European-style blends...Drinks. Chats. Downbeats. Exhilarating!"
- Michael Barnes (Austin Statesman)