Warning: strobe light video! The flashing lights and hyperkinetic sequences of the lead single may cause seizures, while others will see colors that aren’t there, reflecting Jung An Tagen‘s interest in synesthesia. Try it if you’re brave! The album also wins the award for “least catchy titles”, as one is likely to get tongue-tied saying, hey DJ, play “20:32 8°13’03.6“N 16°21’35.1“E”! This too has a hidden meaning: coordinates and codes, inspired by The X-Files, embedded in chatlog language. Add the artist’s fascination with “the forceful dialectics of precisely arranged chaos and ecstatic order”, and one’s brain may start to hurt. Hulk not understand! Hulk SMASH!
But sweep away all these things ~ the mystery coding, the scientific connotations, the near-evangelistic fervor to produce hallucinogenic experiences ~ and one is left with a spectacular 35-minute club set. Those discovering the album on iTunes may never encounter a word of description, but they will enjoy this music just the same. With apologies to the mind, sometimes all we want to do is dance, and quality IDM is in short supply these days.
Jung An Tagen excels at creating optical illusions, and applies this principle to aural illusions as well. Through only two speakers, the depth of field is akin to surround sound. Central melodies abound, but multiple maneuvers take root in the background. Hidden tracks lie in plain sight, only two and three seconds long. To quote a partial track title (capitals included), HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?
The answer is precision. These sounds are carefully calculated, yet rounded off to produce a feeling of warmth. Every sequence has its place, but curious trajectories make them seem wild and untamed. The audio levels are louder than usual in some patterns, softer than usual in others. The tempos flourish in the 130-140 bpm range, and initial patterns are often joined by newer, rowdier friends.
A keen mind was necessary to produce such music. Yet Agent Im Objekt succeeds by connecting on a visceral level. We may not be able to request these tracks without cue cards, but they might be worth holding up to the booth. (Richard Allen)