Exposé Online banner

Larry Kucharz — Unit IA42
(International Audiochrome IA42, 2011, CD)

by Paul Hightower, 2013-09-27:

Unit IA42 Cover art New York musician and composer Larry Kucharz’s latest CD continues the artist’s embrace of modern trends in the worlds of electronic music, including dance, techno, dub and chill. When wedded to his core competency in ambient minimalism one gets a brand of EM that packs a nice musical punch without leaving your ears ringing. And Kucharz’s interest in the avant garde means his music is often lodged somewhere between the rational and the intuitive areas of your brain. The 11 tracks fall into two categories: either rhythmic and kinetic, or ambient and subdued. These are hugely simplistic descriptors, but they do work. A conceptual shroud surrounds the first four tracks, titled “Life,” “Love,” “Binary Birth,” and “Binary Funeral,” and collectively packaged as the Binary Suite. Behind the subdued percussion, chill atmospherics and textural subtleties, Kucharz weaves sonic devices to evoke the respective themes. On the more energetic side of the ledger are tracks like “Quirky Trance” and “Do It” that feature skittering hi-hat, metronomic beats, and over-caffeinated synth pulses. For my money the ambient and techno-chill pieces are the most successful, even though the more lively tracks are the ones most likely to provide Kucharz with some commercial attention and payback. I think Kucharz is long overdue for some success, both in terms of media recognition (though I sure wouldn’t want to have to please the reviewers for the New York Times) and commercial success. Hopefully this is the sort of thing that will deliver it.

by Jon Davis, 2013-07-19:

Unit IA42 occupies a region of electronic music in between some of the more common streams. Much too active for typical ambient, it features percussive parts on most tracks, generally the kind of trebly clicks and hisses that remind me of a tiny rodent playing a mouse-sized drum kit. The lack of a thumping bottom end disqualifies it for dance music (except possibly of an academic variety, modern ballet rather than dance club). But it's also not richly arranged enough to qualify as full-blown electronic symphony of the sort pioneered by Synergy albums back in the 70s. The mouse drummer is backing slow washes of string-like tones for the most part, with medium-tempo marimba tones on some tracks, spotty organ-like chords on others, and sometimes blippy synth sounds. And what are the washes backing? Generally nothing. There are no melodies, which for me pushes this out of the realm of music for active listening into something more like Eno's original ambient music. As the set progresses, the energy level ramps up a bit, flirting with dancefloor rhythms, but remains in the nether zone without committing to asking you to dance. Pleasant enough background music for doing other things, maybe reading a novel about robots or reorganizing the CD shelf. Maybe I should say reorganizing your digital files to get with the technological theme. But sit still and just pay attention to it? I don't think so. I've listened to it at least a half dozen times, and I am not hearing anything new that wasn't apparent on the first or second play.

Filed under: New releases , 2011 releases

Related artist(s): Larry Kucharz

More info

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Urban Sax - Urban Sax à Jakarta – For those unfamiliar with Urban Sax, check out the reviews of their earlier albums in issue #5 for all the background information. This four-track mini-CD (eighteen minutes total) captures a live...  (1996) » Read more

Gongzilla - Suffer – First of all, Gongzilla's Suffer isn't the non-stop smokin' and jammin' album some people think it is. Rather, it's well balanced, with both excellent guitar work (by Bon Lozaga...  (1995) » Read more

Garlic - L'Enigma della Trottola – Italian three-piece Garlic recorded this album live in the studio over three days with no overdubs. The songs are all instrumental guitar, bass, and drums with interesting electronic processing adding...  (2002) » Read more

Dilate - Cyclos – It's interesting that Cleopatra is releasing ambient electronic music like this, as my initial impression of the label was much different. There’s not an awful lot of information in the...  (1996) » Read more

Sonic Abandon - Sonic Abandon – This overlooked project is simply two talented guitarists playing together with engaging rhythms and somber effects units. There are four pieces loosely connected by some vague, linear continuity....  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover

Heatwarmer new album out



Print issues