SW. Untitled

SW. Untitled

9
It can take a lot to get a vinyl purist to go digital. It could be a catastrophic blaze that turns their record collection to ashes, or a case of chronic back pain from years of schlepping albums around. For Berlin-based label Sued, it seems that SW.'s Untitled LP was the tipping point. Apollo is digitally reissuing the until-now-strictly-vinyl imprint's record, the work of Sued co-founder Stefan Wust.
 
It's easy to see why this is the first one to get the MP3 treatment. SW. has a distinct aural formula — like all great electronic albums arguably do — but it's successfully spread out over a variety of sub-genres, creating something new along the way. Comparisons to Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works 85-92 are unavoidable, and not solely because that classic is in Apollo's catalogue; SW.'s ethereal break-beats could be mistaken for a slick Richard D. James production. But the 11-track Untitled ventures into other territory, too: after-hours techno ("untitled 5," "untitled 10") brackets loopy disco ("untitled 6") here, for example.
 
If the unnamed full-length record has a drawback, it's that it isn't raw enough. However, that's also something that keeps it from sounding like rehashed rave music, a product borne of nostalgia and little else. On Untitled, even a potential shortcoming turns out to be an unexpected strength — it's that kind of record. (Sued Records)