Walking In Jerusalem

Mille Plateaux

Walking in Jerusalem is an unquestionably potent album. Crafted with precision and invested with time and effort, the album is a politically charged mixed bag, crammed with well-placed field recordings, music created from those well-placed field recordings, and somewhat diverse collaborations with some electronic avant-garde usual suspects.

The concept and design of Walking in Jerusalem basically revolve around the idea of Random_Inc (one of Sebastian Meissner’s numerous projects) moving around and aurally sketching fragments of life in Jerusalem. Field recordings and descriptive texts of history and location segue into highly impressionistic rhythm-based music. The music, often made in collaboration and implementing the assistance of people like Electric Birds and Tim Hecker, people who already have one foot firmly rooted in dance music tradition, show beats that fall comfortably in between being heavily abstracted and rigidly designed. Dance music is a delicate territory, all too often used to allude to dys/utopian digital culture, and at its best Walking in Jerusalem manages to avoid that, making an album about Jerusalem’s culture.

The content is advantageously ambiguous, avoiding simple reliance on polarized political views, yet rather than attaining this affect through impenetrable intellectual density as some Mille Plateaux labelmates occasionally do, Random_Inc opts for a nearly cinematic presentation. In one section, Meissner takes a precise and candid imprint of Jerusalem Beach with his tape recorder and electronically refracts it, settling on a carefully deliberated palette of cycling sounds attributed to the assistance of Bizz Circuits, one of his alter egos.

The only missteps are when the release delves too deeply into a dance form that only vaguely relates to the topic of the album, and fortunately the work rarely seems to go too far overboard. Random_Inc’s album is eclectic and provoking, and moreover engrossing for its duration.

Mille Plateaux: http://www.mille-plateaux.com

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