Immediate False Relief
hen I was a narrow-minded teenager, I thought every single techno song was over six minutes long. Of course, I also would have used the term “techno” to refer to pretty much any sort of electronic music, so I obviously didn’t know much.
If I was able to locate that shallow, purist kid now, I’d play him Pierre Crube’s (aka Simon-Pierre Weiskopf) first album. Leaving aside, for the moment, the EP tacked on at the end, we’ve got no less than twenty-one tracks in just under forty minutes. With the EP, it’s still only forty-nine minute for twenty-six tracks.
And I’m not sure what my younger self would have made of the content of those tracks, either. Immediate False Relief is one of those fairly rare albums in which the whole is less than the sum of its parts. Most of the songs (and even the shortest tracks here are substantial enough to qualify as songs) are quite good, and if Weiskopf chose to focus on, say, downtempo pieces (‘Intense Rick’, ‘Getting All Emo’, ‘Too Late To Be Honest’) or a choppier feel (‘Rimming’, ‘Chop Chop’, ‘Repetitive Process’) or more upbeat pieces (‘Joyeux Joyeux Bonne Bonne’, ‘Snappy For A Transition’, ‘Sunny It Flips’) he could easily fill a whole album with a consistent mood.
That he doesn’t isn’t necessarily a bad thing, of course; but if Immediate False Relief had a focus, it would be immeasurably stronger. Instead this is a record to give you whiplash, as good idea follows good idea with no pause or, more crucially, development. The Ohym EP which is included here is tantalizing, both because it shows another side of Weiskopf (writer of pretty good electropop tunes), but because he sustains a fairly consistent mood over five tracks. The result is a lot more compelling than the rest of the album.
Of course, attention spans are dropping all over, and hardly anyone listens to an album as an album anymore, right? In that case you can view Immediate False Relief as a clearinghouse, as Weiskopf showing off what he can do, and if that’s how you want to look at it you should add a point or two to the above score. Everything here is at the least sonically interesting (although some listeners will probably find Weiskopf’s voice a bit adenoidal for their tastes), and at best is ferociously compelling even in the short time the tracks last. There are a few places that seem weird for weirdness’ sake (the faux-classical organ in the middle of ‘Pack Travelling’) for example, but in the slippery rush of the album there’s always something new to focus on.
If you’re the type who occasionally sets their MP3 player aside and tries to listen to an album as a start-to-finish experience, though, Immediate False Relief relief is something even worse than its title: precociously frustrating potential.