Sunday, July 01, 2012

Der Zyklus - Von Neumann Replicator review

A new Der Zyklus track appears on the just released split 12” with Albert van Abbe on his No Comment label. Last time Mueller remixed a van Abbe track on a previous No Comment 12” but this time they do their own thing on this split release but perhaps sharing the same Von Neumann inspiration as you will see. These two men have been steadily building a working relationship, van Abbe also does the visuals for Dopplereffekt’s Neutrino A/V show, and it would not surprise me to see this continue and grow.

Der Zyklus open side 1 with 'Von Neumann Replicator', which originally was a self-replicating machine in a cellular automata environment. I have struggled to get my head around just what this might actually be and have a link below for you to try yourselves. Musically it is a reasonably bright and spritely instrumental number from Mueller with a lovely collection of synth washes and melodies with a snare sound that must be one of his sharpest to date. You could miss the subtle and curious bass line weaving it’s way throughout as well but it may be what is really pulling you along all the time. It made me (predictably maybe) think of it as a soundtrack for deep space probes hurtling to the edges of the known universe. Maybe I should be thinking more of a self-replicating machine but that is what it does to this listener! While you may find it a short enough track at just over 4 minutes it does somehow feel longer, making you lose your sense of time to a degree as you listen.

Next up on this side is the first of the van Abbe tracks. If you need reference points I would say that both of his contributions have a bit of a Basic Channel feel to them with a quite minimal and serious production approach. They have the funk too with ‘Von Neumann Machine’ (Version 2) the more loose of the two with some nice Muellerish atmospherics emerging halfway through. The next of his tracks takes up the whole of side 2 and is another version of ‘Von Neumann Machine’ (perhaps version 1?). This features a faster tempo with harder beats and gradually grows into a bit of a showstopper he should be very proud of.

So there you have it, one more piece of the ever expanding Mueller catalogue finding its home on a limited to 300 marbled vinyl 12”. I was sent the white label test pressing on black vinyl for this review. You can listen to samples from all the tracks at this Clone link and go deeper at the others.


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