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Scrypt

Lithops

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Album Review

Scrypt, the third full album (and first in an original stateside issue) for Jan St. Werner's Lithops project, is a slightly different record than its predecessors. While his first two albums under Lithops collected delightful abstractions on the classic Mouse on Mars sound, Scrypt launches St. Werner into the world of highly unorganized experimental noise — the digitally textured, highly processed computer chaos pioneered by the Mego label and nearly perfected by Markus Popp's Oval concern. St. Werner's credentials are certainly in order for such an experimental record (considering his ownership of the experimental Sonig label alone), and Scrypt is mostly successful. "Attached" comes closest to the Mouse on Mars template, with straining, red-lining distortion creating a surprisingly groovy rhythm for itself. Considered as noise for its own sake, it's been done before; as experimental music, the attempts aren't always effective. As the type of record, however, that rewards listeners with occasional glimpses of beauty among the ruins, Scrypt does succeed on a level close to a masterpiece like Oval's Ovalprocess.

Biography

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Lithops is the solo guise of Jan St. Werner, known to most as half of popular Köln/Düsseldorf-based duo Mouse on Mars. Also a member of abstract ambient outfit Microstoria, St. Werner tends toward middle ground with his Lithops material, fusing the smooth digital weirdness of Microstoria with the smudgy, off-kilter beats and warm, imperfect textures of Mouse on Mars releases such as Instrumentals and Glam. Lithops tracks rub the outer edges of inferential electronics, and often sound as though they...
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Scrypt, Lithops
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Contemporaries