(For 4 Ears)

Swiss label For 4 Ears is among the scarcely diffused imprints publishing laptop-generated music that sounds a hundred yards away from those click-clacking, glitch-skipping fizz-fizzes we are submerged from since portable computers became the weapon of choice of pustulous students who couldn’t get a woman (or a man…) to save their lives so decided to give it a try in “creativity”. Not only Baumgartner doesn’t belong to that group, but his stuff is largely ferocious, with a few welcome exceptions under the guise of calmer droning electronics that don’t last too much anyway. Still, the large part of this CD borders on pure terrorism, indeed at times sounding more akin to something that could have been released by Mego. Baumgartner’s adroitness in alternating strata of dirty distortion and hypnotic loops just blemished by a sub-skin grittiness constitutes the point of strength of the work which results lively, surprising, doubtlessly interesting to the ears. Yet it’s violence that mostly fills the menu du jour, the kind of sonic guerrilla that makes one pant “got to turn down the volume or I’ll become deaf”, but instead is missed when it ends. Because while this noise might bite, it also contains forms of grace that the expert’s ear immediately picks up. Despite the difference in style from the label’s canon “Shoot’s huft” is a well-built, stubborn record on the same quality levels of the rest of their production.