Jiri.Ceiver "jig, amble & lisp" (Eye Q, 1997)

Jiri.Ceiver released two albums on the Frankfurt label Eye Q (which was founded by famous DJ Sven Väth among others), while various 12"s were released on the probably better known sublabel Harthouse. These labels always tried to find a balance between tracks that worked in the clubs very well and more experimental stuff. Jiri's work definitely belongs to the second category, although it still is related to techno beats and the acid genre in particular. After Hardhouse's bancruptcy in 1998 he appeared on a few compilations, but little is known what he actually does nowadays (rumors tend towards theater work).

valve Good example for Jiri.Ceiver's beats, where nothing seems to be where it belongs and it still somehow works just fine. A lonely, sick sounding 303 bass digs its way through a percussive jungle, a few strings try to get some light in the night from time to time. Gradually a few synthie notes step in with some portions of neon light to weave a bright curtain out of an unsteady structure.7.0

poke Starts with a great distorted and deformed rhythm, and slowly some conventional beat elements are added. But this crazy sound goes through the whole track and dominates the experimental character. The dry, slightly porous but somehow well oiled sound is everything that counts. A basement vault full of rusty toys. Funny breaks and detailed beat displacements help that piece remain interesting to the end. 9.0

ttsys (me4u) Piano and sampled vocals viewed through a silk curtain. A short, melancholic interlude for a rest. 5.0

stitch (sponsor's edit) I like it how Jiri fades his tracks in slowly. It is like they are played backwards. Relatively straight bass drum here with a few short synthie hits and a very shy bass. But it does not stay calm for long. The storm brings a set of crazy sounds and a twirled and wrung out TB-303. Minimal acid with a careful pull towards an after midnight dance floor. 7.0

fastloom A dark acid fog rises from an abandoned railroad yard at five in the morning... Increased speed and brilliant Roland basslines again dominating the sound. Only a few odd percussion elements temporarily push themselves to the fore while the beat itself seems to be only decoration. Incredibly cold and unsettling, but strangely enough somehow familiar. Exhausting club loop with an ingenious blending into a slower beat at the end. 7.0

c.a.t. Slower and more electro, but still rather minimal. Sounds like Jiri took some bits and pieces out of a complete arrangement to create his own kicks. Thin beat with some accents by loud clap hits. The bass is so dry that one actually wants to give it some oil. Clever, synthetic arrangement that hints some jazz with a few sampled instruments, but in spite of all the experimentation it is very groovy. 8.0

vex Noise and distortion accompanied by breakbeats. Sounds like Prodigy squeezed to the size of a dead ant. Repeating loops hunted through an effect disposal site. Kept short and with a cool siren to ring in the final part. Threatening psycho drill. 7.5

pigeons.OSL Based on a sample that originally actually could have been recorded from a pigeons meeting. But Jiri left nothing but lo-fi noise and carries the result through the track without getting musical in any way. Has more of a conversation between two space suit helmets. Interesting for what it is but way too long. 4.5

plaque Okay, back to the rhythms, and this one is for real! An acid line plus a nervous hihat indicating there could have been too much pills been involved. A differentiated use of reverbs helps some background sounds to appear bigger than they are, while a deep something somewhere between a bass and a bass drum strikes pretty oddly along the beat. Deep, hot and pungent. 8.5

poke (digested rmx) Take a piece of music, cut out some short parts in a rhythmically elegant fashion and let the now apparent gaps be a new idea of a beat. Add some new layers of sounds and rhythms and you will have a breathtaking experimental club track like this one. Sounds like it had been a hell of a lot of work, but the result is just cool, degenerate stuff. 8.5

gt.bosse Interlude with sampled laughter. I guess. Unrated

miller Slow buildup of a small beat, again seasoned with some sounds that you won't get ready-made. Looped 303 acid bass and various dabs of rhythm elements here and there, even though the beat itself remains rather conventional, which is not bad at all after the crazy show we had on this album so far. Little by little this creeping track becomes bigger and more addictive. 8.0

ycool - jiric.vs.jinks So now its time to let yourself go and inhale some lazy jazzy spirits. The sampled acoustic instruments give it kind of a "real music" feeling, rattling, cool and wooden paneled. Music from a sweaty night club without a DJ. 8.0

[Artwork] Minimal design with hotel room ambience and only the most necessary information. I don't think the pictures fit the mostly electronical and experimental sounds, but at least it is, just like the music, far away from mainstream and from what one would expect. 5.5

Conclusion This is not a record for everyone. But if you like electronic music, you should at least try this stuff and consider a second session (as this might freak you out in the first). It has elements from classic club tracks, but Jiri.Ceiver plays around a lot with conventions and ends up with something so crazy that it sometimes takes a while to appreciate the genius behind it. But just listen to the inventive sounds and rhythm structures and you will have a hard time finding some artists who operate on the same level. I am not sure if my Overall Rating really does the album justice, but it is 7.19, if you must know.

August 2007