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Go to the O.Lamm website  O.Lamm - Snow Party [Active Suspension - 2002]

The French Active Suspension label is quickly putting itself on the map for releasing quality electronic music. This time with O.Lamm, a seemingly very talented laptop artist.

Olivier Lamm debuted as a member of Evènement, a French collective and label for which he started on his investigation of sound art and experimentation. After several collaborations with artists on the same label, O.Lamm broadened his musical horizon with the 7" "Sturninn" on Active Suspension. The music showed a change by also incorporating pop music and melodies among the glitched out digital noise. O.Lamm first got my attention with the track "Harmony Twitchell" on last year's label sampler, but now finally the debut full-length "Snow Party" sees the light of day.

"Please note this is a pop record and I know you care" is stated on the back of the CD case. But one shouldn't expect any Britney Spears or Nickelback music now. Olivier Lamm takes a lot of inspiration from artists like Oval and Fennesz, cutting up recognizable melodies and assemble those with the increasingly becoming popular digital laptop noise, fashionable placed in the microhouse and glitch genre. Incorporating beats and rhythms taken from hip hop, techno or simply Autreche-inspired keeps "Snow Party" varied and interesting, and above all somewhat mysterious: the listener will hear something familiar, but will be unable to place it somewhere.

An excellent example of O.Lamm's work on this release is the track "Guitar Innovator", on which the digital activist duo Lionel Fernandez and Erik Minkinnen (also known as Discom) appear in a totally hectic form. It starts quite expected, with anomalous samples and some noisy sounds. The soft and calm piano part puts the "emotion thing" in this piece, but it quickly turns into a very poppy sounding techno song before glitching back to the original form the track once started.

It's not exactly my time of the year for a "Snow Party", but this disc will certainly visit my CD player regularly, also in summer. Active Suspension and O.Lamm show that there's a lot of unused and unknown talent in the French laptop scene, and I'm sure we'll hear again from these eccentrics.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Justin Faase
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