In a culture currently collapsing from promotion-overload, this information-void is particularly appealing. And Pom Pom's clunky brand of techno only adds to the charm—brazenly hand-crafted, functional, but with little interest in fads or genre conventions, this is weird stuff. It sounds like the product of Berghain mated with Profan: dark, reverb-dunked rhythms lost in pools of tape hiss, divergent patterns causing further confusion, crudely sampled patches of static. Pom Pom is Marcel Dettmann meets Marcel Marceau; punishing, but with tongue-in-cheek and a playful glint in its eye. If T. Raumschmiere is techno's punk-rock, then Pom Pom is its No Wave.
The CD features 14 tracks, most of them around five minutes in length, which gives the tunes the feel of studies or experiments of the sort found on old sound library collections. Simple themes are quickly established, then quickly discarded. The opening track is a waltz, a Strauss lollipop loping in dank dubstep terrain, until track 2 stomps in, offering a beautifully hackneyed take on Minus minimal, the trademark claves and congas lazily daubed in charcoal. Loops of hiss bleed into ghostly warning tones in track 5, pseudo Latin rhythms stumbling over clattering electro breaks, while track 7 loses grand trance themes in thick fog, pads and drums distorting, bleeding into the surrounding mist.
The palate remains firmly monochromatic, all dub techno greys draped over minimal drum patterns, but the manner in which these buckle, twisting into surprisingly obtuse forms, lends vitality to these simple pieces. The warped arpeggios which stagger zombie-like all over track 6 are stunning, and would surely send crowded floors into a frenzy. Track 8 is just as cocky, with tambourines and gushing strings cycling like The Field. Track 10 re-examines the riff from Supermayer's "Two Of Us," submerging it in darker waters and throwing in ragged jazz breaks to disrupt the flow. Calmer pieces recall Rechenzentrum or Mikkel Metal, with stoned rhythms lurching around dying dub pulses and barbed synth pads. There's not a bum note in sight. Or, rather, the bum notes are so artfully deployed that each track develops skewed and eccentric personalities, absent from all but the most innovative of modern productions.