Schneider TM Zoomer

What happens when you have a German electronic artist making music with the folk-pop sensibilities of Beck? Zoomer would be a pretty good indication. Featuring an array of slick, programmed, off-tempo beats and all sorts of sounds, blips and beeps, this is a curious bit of electro-pop noodling. Written and produced by one Dirk Dresselhaus, this is Schneider TM's second foray into quirky electronic pop music. At times, this album really is a treat to listen to, with smooth vocals and melodies carrying the tracks along nicely. But then there are some oddities like "Turn On," in which Dresselhaus attempts a deadpan rap over some disjointed beats that sounds like the Pet Shop Boys trying (and failing) to do hip-hop. Indeed, much of the audio material collected here can be challenging to follow, but his experimentation can work. He definitely knows how to push the boundaries of acceptable electronic music and even seems to be moving more towards sound collages than individually identifiable tracks. Overall, Zoomer is a unique and progressive album of future-pop, albeit with a few difficult twists. (Mute)