Reduce

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"Can you dance to it?" -- no matter how much of a cliche this question has become, it remains a staple of do-it-yourself music criticism.

Mikael Stavöstrand

Reviewed by Charlie Bertsch

Monday, September 3 2001, 3:03 PM


"Can you dance to it?" -- no matter how much of a clichè this question has become, it remains a staple of do-it-yourself music criticism. In the case of "glitch-hop" producer Mikael Stavöstrand's work, though, the question needs to be restated: "Can you dance in it?" The answer is a resounding "Yes." You can also do the dishes within its high-ceilinged confines. And you can enjoy the task as few people have.

I suppose that all minimalist music has a spatial quality. Yet Reduce ups the ante. Listening to the album through headphones, you can feel the walls expand, like a frame-by-frame rewind of the trash compactor scene in the original Star Wars. And that's the paradox. By reducing his compositions to the near absence of 'musical' elements -- it needs only staticky blips, slowed-down, imperfect sine waves -- Stavöstrand transforms sound into architecture.

I want to say that this record makes me feel like I'm living inside an IKEA catalogue that has come to life. But that would probably piss its creator off. I mean, there's nothing about Reducethat's definably 'Swedish.' It's just airy, bright, fresh like the dining room set that I will never be able to afford. Except Reduce is under fifteen bucks. Go build an addition onto your mind.

Reduce is available from Force Inc. Music Works 

Copyright © 2001 by Charlie Bertsch. All rights reserved.
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