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Recordings 1969-1988

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Album Review

One can take the release of Ursula Bogner's recordings via Jan Jelinek's label Fatiche one of two ways — either at total face value, that these are selections from 20 years of recordings by a German musician who worked on them while she otherwise went about a conventional enough daily life, or as some sort of elaborate concept on the part of Jelinek himself. The latter certainly wouldn't be surprising, as any fan of the Aphex Twin could tell you, and there's certainly something very Richard James about songs like "Inversion" and "Begletitung fur Tuba." Whatever the exact provenance, the selections on Recordings 1969-1988, while generally sounding more like impressions than complete compositions, make for a delightful enough listen, a blend of quirk and murkiness, either unavoidable or rather intentional. A definite point of comparison, no matter what the songs' background, would be Raymond Scott's later works, with the same mix of playfulness and suggestive rough electronic melancholy evident on songs like "2 Ton" and "Atmosphere 1." Disruptive moments like the squawk on "Proto" help keep things from sounding too samey, though at points everything blends into everything else almost too easily. There's a hidden bonus track as well, though aside from a variety of synthetic gurgles there's not much else to say. Whether a planned curio or a randomly found one, it's still a good album, though not one to shout about from the rafters.

Recordings 1969-1988, Ursula Bogner
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