An unwavering data stream pressing on your temples like a tightening vice…
Jan St. Werner - Miscontinuum Album

Jan St. Werner’s conceptual ‘Fiepblatter’ series welds its third instalment to a dream machine and reports back the effects of being caught up in a dial-up connection close to Area 51. The four-year recording process, originally intended by the Mouse On Mars man as on orchestral piece, gives credence to its title, relaying a paradigm shift slash system fault.

In the broadest of nutshells, ‘Miscontinuum’ is headphone decomposition slash experimental art installation. As it gropes for texture and tone, stereotyping a peak/post-apocalyptic landscape with high treble drones and abstraction bordering on St. Werner’s concentration jamming everything at once, a Dictaphone commentary is its stabiliser. A science/fiction documentary voiceover, bunkered to the outside world, comes served on a bed of nameless whispers, techno debris and tumbleweed.

Open to aftershocks (the organ grinding ‘Cervo’) and building walls of sound on tectonic plates, the piece’s dissonance is rarely beautiful, and oddly uncoloured, despite not being a monochrome crossing of the sound field. Analogue or human soul appears absent as the studio’s extension cord goes close to overheating, with a USB port for a Ghostbusters Muon Trap installed to contain the hellish screams of ‘Repedron.’

‘Molono’ moves towards the claustrophobic, a subtler incidence of St. Werner hemming you in rather than chasing shadows in a boundary-less universe. Asymmetrical and pitched up and down at any given moment, ‘Miscontinuum’ is an unwavering data stream whose moments of relative clarity still press on your temples like a tightening vice.

6/10

Words: Matt Oliver

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