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Zinkl — Tanzmusik für Roboter
(Prudence 398.6880.2, 2020, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-05-19

Tanzmusik für Roboter Cover art

German synthesist and composer Anton Zinkl seems to have been absent for a few years, the last time I heard anything by him was his album Dance Music for Insects in 2002. A colleague reviewed his 2004 release, Temptations of St. Anthony, but that’s pretty much where the trail ended, until now at least. Perhaps there are some releases in between, but it’s hard to know, as he doesn’t seem to have a website as far as one can tell. His music on Tanzmusik für Roboter (Dance Music for Robots) seems appropriately titled, some kind of concept where the robots refuse to obey the humans and just want to dance. The music is program-driven by synths and sequencers, the sounds are based on a collection of bouncy, glitchy events with a bit of melody interspersed between the rhythmic beats, one might easily be reminded of the soundtrack to a Commodore 64 or Atari game soundtrack back in the 80s. Several of the album’s nine tracks feature vocals, though they can hardly be understood, as they are heavily processed by a vocoder. There seem to be some blasts of Mellotron on some of the tracks, as well as dweedly synth sounds (all programmed of course); it doesn’t really make the pieces any more enjoyable, though I’m sure there are some listeners who would totally enjoy what’s going down here. Most of the pieces are in the two to five minute range, but “Maschinewelt” carries on for a seemingly interminable eighteen minutes. I’ve tried to listen to this album at least a dozen times, and most of those I’ve aborted after four or five songs. Why? This music is soul-less, lifeless, and mechanical, one might as well be listening to a bunch of machines talking to one another on a factory floor. I’m sure that’s what Zinkl intended with this collection, and like I noted earlier, I’m sure that there are folks out there who really enjoy this kind of stuff. It’s just not me. The best I can say is that Tanzmusik für Roboter is interesting, but mildly annoying.

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Anton Zinkl-Singer (Zinkl)


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