Reuber Sudpol

Timo Reuber drops his fourth album on Staubgold, a label that has been broadening its sound quite a bit in the last couple of years. Sudpol speaks both to the grand tradition of repetitive German electronics while carving out some looser rhythms, which make for some surprises. He’s working with rhythms that measure an even eight beats to the bar but wrings new sonics from old synth sounds. A single sound can transmogrify into bells, super-distorted guitars, dull percussion or diffuse breaths. Certainly anyone who’s twiddled knobs — yes, knobs, not soft-synths with a mouse for a controller — will find much to identify with here, but it sounds as though Reuber’s done enough of this sort of thing throughout his career as to actually apply the modulations in a song-oriented way. Sonic songwriters keep cropping up as influences in the first part of the album. Pink Floyd is somewhere in the background of "Dominique B,” while a catchy New Order-ish bass line underpins dubbed out drum machines in "Tagebuch.” Other more worldly inspirations crop up in tunes like "Tausendnadelwind,” which features a rhythm seemingly reaching for the Caribbean without going for obvious instrumental similarities. The ideas never grow stale on this disc, with some guitar textures enlivening the middle section, and the short song lengths ensure that no one riff becomes a run-on sentence. That said, the best track is the ebbing and flowing 11-minute closer "Steppengraskrieger.” (Staubgold)