Exposé Online banner

Lithops — Scrypt
(Thrill Jockey Thrill-32, 2003, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-03-01

Scrypt Cover artFar from the reaches of electronic music as mere impetus for dancing, or even the spacious universe of ambient soundscapes, lies the realm of Lithops. Picture a two-dimensional coordinate system for electronic music. On the X axis you have the continuum that runs from ambient drone (-10) at one end to beat-pounding dance music (+10) at the other. The Y axis goes from chaotic academic electronic music (-10) to Tomita/Synergy electronic classicism (+10). Lithops averages at about (0,-8): things change much too fast for any suggestion of relaxation, and there is little hint of melody, tonality, or sometimes even pulse, though sounds reminiscent of percussion instruments occasionally turn up. When there is a detectable beat, it’s the kind of thing that seems to coalesce out of mist, like a pattern that emerges slowly from an out-of-focus blur, revealing lines and shapes if not recognizable objects. And for all the abstraction, it’s still appealing, with a kind of charm, as if a group of cute but hyperactive aliens got together with a bunch of synthesizers and started messing around without reading the owners’ manuals. It may be folk music on their planet, but on ours it’s a curious mixture of things that don’t go together. There’s obviously an underlying logic to it, but our minds can only guess at it. Certainly this is not music for everyone (at least not on this planet!), but for those willing to stretch out a bit into the chaotic country, it’s worth a listen.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 31, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Lithops (Jan St Werner)

Latest news

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Frogg Café - Bateless Edge – New York’s Frogg Café has released one of the most interesting albums of the year with Bateless Edge. This is a 77-minute CD with eight songs ranging from five to 14 minutes, three of which...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues