Living Ornaments. Klonten. 3"CDR

Dutch duo of Coen and Lars (also run Narrominded Records and are members of Psychon Troopers) follow up their critically acclaimed "Ribbels" 12" with 20 minutes of post drum and bass reflections. Fragmented piano figures, acoustic guitar and a swingtime marching band all poke their heads up, while a keen pop sensibility holds it all together. This is rural electronics for the romantic soul. Absolutely tuned in!
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01. chriettitulaer
02. aartstaartjes
03. diewertjeblok
04. edwinrutten
05. hanpeekel
06. harmensiezen
07. henkmouwe

|: cover by Coen Polack


"Chriettitulear" rings through your ears, by dropping a garbled mulched vocal which welcomes you to the party, just in time for the beat to rattle its way in. Spiralling beat strikes are smoothly layed over a warm piano meldoy, which gives off an eastern vibe. It makes you vision a small electronics market, deep within the side streets of a major city, the light bussle of the crowds mixes with the murmurings given off from the power surging all around. Good stuff. Super processed glitch crunch beats drag and scratch you into "diewertjeblok", crazy track names all around. Developing in the background, an amiga style theme tune gives out a supressed call through the haze of electronic fuzz that has created itself all up in the place,listen carefully and concentrate. "Edwinrutten" is an acoustic lightshow blowing up behind your eyes, its a one man party, and guess what, you are not invited. As buckets of static pour down the icy building, thudding beats bounce along in time to the visuals, but who is attempting to speak to you through the distortion? You will have to find out yourselves. Atmospheric storylines in a track. Cool. "Harmensiezen" drops you into the mindset of a drunken courtesy droid, if only he hadnt had that last Sump oil and Redbull he would have been ok, but its chaos inside his small aluminium face. Listen in and try to help. "Henkmouwe" is the droid waking up the next morning, his sensors overloading, as his tiny processor attempts to recollect what happened the night before. Barraging data slides into place, as waves of fuzzy static reel into the microphone port, giving off a squeaky microscopic animal like call,but its ok, the information is all slotting into place. That will teach you, naughty robot. 'Klonten' is a tiny experimental journey through the plastic speaker house that Living Ornaments live in. Full of life and put together with tiny glowing chopsticks,the intricate craftmanship is all good. Definetly worth tracking down.
Sam. Tesselate

Living Ornaments are an electronica duo comprising Netherlanders Lars Meijer and Coen Polack. Their two releases under consideration here are their own EP, Klonten which clocks in at a little over twenty minutes in length (blink and itís gone) and their half of a split LP. Klonten is an interesting, if too-short release. There seem to be a number of different tracks wriggling around inside Chriettitulaer (this is a good thing). Thereís a reggae-ish dub spirit spiralling in the background, a stuttering, mutating biscuit tin drum and bass beat, abstract figures skating around and from time to time an upbeat melody perambulating throughout. Diewertjeblok darts and fizzes along before sloughing into a contemplative phase and running out of steam. Shorter tracks alternate with longer tones. The mixture of acoustic and electronic sounds is interesting; particularly the melancholic piano and associated chimes and strums on Henkmouwe. At times though there is something of an apprentice tentativeness to this EP. Some of the drum sounds appear a little pre-packaged and disposable and it would be good to hear the duo explore their ideas over longer periods of time, but Klonten is a promising and interesting release.
Colin Buttimer. The Milk Factory, 02.01.2004

On the new Scarcelight Recordings label, with all the 3"cdrs in these simple but artistically fascinating black and white covers, you just know it's going to be good. Someone has seen enough wonder in the work to put it in front of you in the simplest terms. Part Idm, pulsing, minimal and ambient, seven tracks patter and sweep elegantly along, threading themselves together with inventive melody and loops. Amazing that something so remarkable gets put out on a little 3" cdr. There are labels that wrap mega-expensive packages around sounds not nearly this stimulating. A glossy, pretty booklet never makes you put that cd in four years after you bought it. Excellent for people into 310, David Kristian or Porter Ricks.
Manifold Catalog

A while ago I reviewed a split LP between Accelera Deck and Living Ornaments (see also Vital Weekly 378). Apparently with good result for both parties, as now Scarcelight, a small label run by Chris Jeely, aka Accelera Deck, releases a 3"CDR by Living Ornaments. 'Lumbs' is the translation of the title of it, and the seperate tracks are named after 'long forgotten Dutch TV celebrities' (although 'Diewertjeblok' is always my mind, boys). Living Ornaments, a duo of Lars Meijer (who runs the Narrominded label, who released the aforementioned split LP) and Coen Polack. More so than on the split LP, rhythm plays an important role here. Grainy textures of slowly decaying software is held together by the sticky tape called rhythm. They chop up piano sounds, an acoustic guitar, a broken musicbox in the last piece, and overall a wacky sense of humour makes this into quite an enjoyable release. At times a bit poppy, but never too much or too regular sounding. A fresh approach to the down beat rhythmworld, which lacks humour and which Living Ornaments bring back in.
Vital Weekly 400