Lithops is the solo outlet of Jan St. Werner from Cologne based Mouse on Mars. This is his third full length, and first for Thrill Jockey. He's appeared on the last few Sonig compilations and had a 12" on Thrill Jockey two years ago, but this is his first widespread and properly promoted full length recording stateside.
Scrypt begins by extending its relentless sound to more consistent -yet bizarre- sound configurations and even greater compositional extremity. Scrypt creates a roadmap along which the music evolves towards structured examples of a multi-linear paradigm. The route itself runs in parallel within the music; every scriptable motion is matched by a layered counter-motion across the duration of the pieces. Minute edits of off time slamming grain-sounds, feedback tips, guitar bursts and bass flange accelerations conspire with harmonic distortions, burbling forth melodic eccentricities and sudden harmonic changes, occasionally introducing brass arrangements. Blast-punctured streams of organ chord changes spell out melodies, while sub-style attacking bass concludes and infects the structure of the tracks. Drums are intercut to create shuddering explosions of precise deconstruction. Each piece has its own circuit board floor plan, allowing a high degree of listenability. Lithops' lowed down grind core improv derivatives spit out non linear rhythms, immediately unraveling the predictability of the usual speed metal and free jazz exercises with which they might be compared.
The warm hybrid and unmechanical appearance of this album resurrects the listener's prejudices so that it can again be questioned and actively brought into the composition. A constantly peaking energy level nearly produces a listener entropy, but for the music's raw assault and deeply obscure consistency it is fully worth it.