Not any more.
Not only are there a few dates scheduled, but Shitkatapult have unearthed a new album. The ten tracks on Lost and Found: 1998-2000 are all new, but as the title suggests, they still form something of a compilation, being recorded in the three consecutive years immediately after ‘Via Nostra’. That said, there is a deliberate fluidity and consistency to the order of tracks, and some sequencing, which gives Lost and Found a homogenous, album feel.
Not having listened to much IDM of late, its also nice to hear an approachable IDM album that doesn’t leave you feeling stupid, frustrated or irritated. Too much of the genre tended to lose sight of any emotional or listenable qualities by disappearing up its own arse in cleverness. Yet Lost and Found, like other Sun Electric material, is both clever, listenable and at times embued with an all but rare emotional quality. Take the finale of ‘Ohaya’, for example, in which a simple and exalted vocal cry and soothing swells emerge out of a contrasting sea of thicker beats and discordant melodies. The key is that the song structure, rather than the production alone, is allowed to tell the story.
Of course this is helped by freely disregarding any notion of stylistic limitation or forced adherence to a particular genre. ‘Toninas’, ‘Lomat’ and ‘Umpa Lumpa’ are all very jazz influenced cuts with clever sampling to reward the careful listener, whereas ‘Echelon’ is a deeper, dubby and perhaps the most ambient of the tracks. Other standouts are ‘Up at Dawn’, which has an effervescent warpedness, more reminiscent of not having gone to sleep than having gotten up early. Alternatively, ‘Shuttle’ is a marvellously soothing melange of treated motorik guitars and gentle electro pop that could be at home on a Stereolab or shoegazer album.
All in all this is a welcome return of rewarding tracks. It also comes in a Designers Republic sleeve to match - just like the good old days.