Microstoria Model 3, Step 2

For the last four years, Jan St. Werner and Markus Popp have been separately warming their zeroes and ones in Mouse on Mars and Oval, respectively. (Mouse on Mars exploring the funky digital end of the Kraftwerk song spectrum and Oval playing the role of pure theorist, analysing the clicks and groans of stressed files and equipment.) The two continued playing live as Microstoria and Model 3, Step 2 is the edited end result. Beatless (or almost), their electronics don't fit well with the IDM or even "glitch" camps of sound. Listening is like laying back into a tub of warm water until your ears are covered; sounds from your apartment travels through the air, water and porcelain, tones reverberate in your head, becoming slightly alien. Was that the door? Is the phone ringing? Who pulled the plug? Microstoria's triumph is making processed sound that sounds natural, something machines could never be forced to emit. As varied and textured as a free jazz quartet, but miniaturised and encased in a snow globe for easy transport. Let's hope what's broken stays broken. (Thrill Jockey)