Audio Mixer: Heimer.
Recording information: F[u]nkstudio, Berlin (2016).
Berlin-based musician and visual artist Heimer previously collaborated with electro-folkie Will Samson before making his solo debut with 2016's aptly titled Teilzeit Swag. The album's 11 songs feature neon synth melodies and smudged, wavy textures, as well as fractured, restless beats. In many ways, it resembles an updated version of the Scandinavian style known as skweee, which was briefly popular during the end of the 2000s and influenced the work of dubstep producers like Joker and Zomby. The album also seems like a slightly more hyper take on the sounds of several Ghostly International-signed artists. Tracks like "Cozy Prius" almost sound like Tycho gone trap, while others, such as "Actroid Gurl" and "QQQ," are more warped cousins of the glitch-hop of Michna or Shigeto. Heimer seems to love throwing colorful, attention-grabbing sounds into his gleeful, animated tunes. Mutilated saxophone bleats pop up during opener "Icy Grip," and some very plastic-sounding heavy metal guitar is pressed up against the wall during the brief, chirpy "White Out, Pt. 2." "Beverly the Hill" utilizes what sounds like brushed drums and snapping fingers sampled from Angelo Badalamenti's Twin Peaks soundtrack, and it's one of the more reflective cuts on the album, but it still manages to sound hyped-up and swagified. Downbeat closing track "Smacks United" sounds like Mouse on Mars producing one of James Ferraro's hip-hop experiments, offsetting manipulated vocals with more subdued keyboards. Heimer is an adventurous artist who seems to laugh in the face of convention, and his debut album is incredibly fun and inventive. ~ Paul Simpson