The interesting thing you notice when listening is the slight tinge of melancholia that permeates a majority of these tracks. There is almost a kind of yearning for those NES days, when everything was all a little bit simpler. A good example of this is “Smeared Bus Window”; as well as the typical glitchy (if somewhat slowed down) beats, there is a curiously soulful keyboard melody – a little bit sparse, with a lot of retrospection. Couple that with “Balloons and Centipedes”, and you start to get a picture of where Koch is heading. The title track is a nice sample-and-slow-bass-driven mood piece – it’s pleasant enough, though at least one of the melody lines doesn’t quite fit in to the mood. This is something that becomes a concern over the course of the long-player – I am not so sure that all the sounds chosen are necessarily right for the mood being created – some sound a bit too forward, and also a bit too much like presets.
“Without” is something I will keep listening to though, it is a lovely mixture of natural sounds, vocal snippets and haunting melodies that stay with you long after it is over; a definite sign of potential.
This album is something of a grower; it has some lovely little melodies in there, which given time and patience, will make themselves present to you. Not something that instantly sets you on fire, but also not something that you will play once and file away in your collection. A little bit of tweaking here and there, and some more considered sound choices and you will have something quite interesting. Right now it’s a kind of diet “Boards of Canada” – expect more sugar next time around.