Herrmann and Kleine
Kickboard Girl EP
City Centre Offices
2000
C+

following their contribution to the Putting the Morr Back in Morrisey Compilation, I was eager to hear what Hermann and Kleine would do for an encore. Many times I will hear a song on a compilation and seek out the full length releases of bands, only to find that the only song that I enjoy by the band was the one that was put on the compilation. Luckily, in the case of the Kickboard Girl EP, that is not the case for Hermann and Kleine.


The fist song, "Kickboard Girl," has a driving beat that allows the synth melodies and counter-melodies to flourish underneath. The melodies spiral in and out of focus, as Hermann and Kleine use the trademark toy piano like sound to evoke a feeling of youth. This sound has come to be the trademark of CCO releases and Hermann and Kleine are definitely coming to be one of the main purveyors of that aesthetic in IDM. The first song leads directly into the song "Kickboard Girl (Take Care on the Corner)." It continues using one of the same synth sounds but a different beat comes in. The song is much smaller and acts as a nice and more somber coda to the title track. The beat is once again four/four but leaves more open space allowing the melody to filter through.


On the third song, Hermann and Kleine attempt to pull of a Mu-ziq impression. As soft and enveloping as the melodies are, the drums overpower and offer little to the song besides a noisy reminder of how better and more well suited the drums were in the previous song. "My Friend Sam" is the next offering by the group. The drums die away for the last minute of the track and fade into what sounds like a guitar strumming along to a keyboard melody. Warm and rich, "My Friend Sam" is a perfect lead in to the last pair of songs entitled "Sitting Next To You" and "Sitting Next To You (Closer)."


The final two are reminiscent of the first two tracks of the album. Both drums and melody work together on this track to create a sublime soundscape that ebbs and flows. While this track doesn't flow into the last song there is a obvious sense of the same set of sounds being used. This track has a simple beat that allows the melodies to expand and reach their full potential.


Overall, Hermann and Kleine have put together a solid release in the melodic IDM vein echoing releases by ISAN and Freescha. This work is by no means classic, but remains a solid release in the City Centre Offices catalogue.


Reviewed by: Todd Burns
Reviewed on: 2003-09-01
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