"Otherworldliness" is probably a good word to start with when describing Jan Jelinek's Tierbeobachtungen (try saying that three times fast…but only if you don’t speak German). Jelinek produces oddly satisfying soundscapes filled with an array of clicks, hums, buzzes and whirrs that hail from unidentifiable origins. The six loop based compositions on Tierbeobachtungen swell like the sounds of a crazed jungle from a distant planet, evoking strange creatures and plant life as each track pans in reversed slow motion across its landscape. The imagery fits well in relation to the album title which translates roughly as "Animal Observations." While being wholly unique, a strained comparison might bring to mind some of Animal Collective's more low key instrumental tracks or maybe Black Dice as filtered through William Basinski. I missed this album in 2006 for various reasons, despite knowing about it, or it would have doubtlessly made my top ten (something true of a few discoveries made this year). With that said, any fan of experimental music should mark this album as a required addition to their Itunes library. A textural and atmospheric masterpiece.
Jan Jelinek - Tierbeobachtungen (full stream)