Tim Koch – Spinifex

3 out of 5

Produced by: Tim Koch

Label: Central Processing Unit

Sweeping, and at times majestically entrancing… BUT WHAT IS IT?

CPU nabs another clear winner and standout voice in the electronic music crowd.  Tim Koch is apparently a master at all things, whether it’s mixing a dancefloor vibe with IDM cuts (as on opener Bloom); challenging your earholes with Radian-esque icy sound; committing to early Aphex-style ambience; doing the Apparat icy-to-warm shuffle; or just riding a minimalist noise wave.  Alas, this incredible range is also what holds Spinifex back, as Koch never sticks around one style long enough to allow you to really get a feel for timing or tone of the disc, hindered by sequencing that stacks to many wondering moments – Parallalrap, Hapax – next to tracks that end abruptly, as though Koch suddenly burned out on a given vibe and wants to try the next one.  But while he’s there, he’s committed, which is what absolutely keeps the album from feeling like a showoff mixtape or something.  Rather, within each moment, within each track, you get swept up in its particular driving feeling.

There’s perhaps some meta-context to this setup, as the album’s opening few tracks are blindingly confident and memorable and complete, giving way to some longer experimental stretches before the midway point during which that confidence erodes somewhat: the songs don’t push as far as those that came before.  With Wrong Holiday – on the other side of the midway point – Koch rediscovers his groove, but it’s somewhat fragmented, building back up to a smoother concluding set of tracks.

Possible coincidence to that sequencing, but either way, it’s not enough of a story to overcome the scattered nature of different genres represented.  It is enough to let you know that Koch absolutely knows what he’s doing, though, and continues CPU’s run of bringing us unique voices in the electronic field.