Balancing complex patterns with an immediacy of harmony, „Jigsawtooth“ provides an instantaneous hit. I appreciate the no-holds-barred level of entry, with no build, nor drifting around on a lengthy intro; and when Miwon leaps straight into pitter-patter beats and the fluttering emotive electronics of „Fuzzy Words“, it’s an all welcome refreshing approach to a full-length release. It is be all too easy to band about lazy terminology such as Ambient, or indeed IDM; but it is, in all its unchained glory. The occasional use of Disco synth and 8-Bit rhythm splices, add to the jovial nature of this album; that manages to draw a sense of beauty whilst not taking itself too seriously. With a warm full production, there is a sense of an in the same room as you, studio feel that feels inclusive and sharing; assisting the listener in being receptive to all the subtle changes and fluctuations of timbre that scatter trough the speakers. Altogether, this is an impressive return from Miwon; and whilst not revelling in the grandiose spectrum of the genre, the balance and shift of power between evocative and playful, provides a necessary lift emotionally when it matters most. (Blackaudio)
Miwon’s Jigsawtooth is an album that will immediately sweep you up and under it’s blanket of ambient techno and electronic soundscapes. Opening track ‚Fuzzy Words‘ is probably where I had hoped Tycho’s Epoch album would have ventured last year but failed to do so. Thumping drum pads and gently stretched effects cast themselves across its 3 minutes and 20-odd seconds like a gently rippling wave. ‚Charezza‘ follows, a feeling of isolation is present in its intro, chimes dangle and move in opposite time to the beat, there is a real feel of Eno’s Another Green World meets fellow German downtempo electronic artist Paul Kalkbrenner, it’s a really beautiful listening experience that soars slowly and with ease. Then comes the old school house sounds of the glitchy and slightly industrial sounding ‚Spiderman‘, a thudding muffled bass-line and beat forcefully place themselves directly under the more delicate wisps of the synth. ‚Shutter (Windmill Version)‘ shrouds itself in a dark yet flickering light, the beat on this is choppy like a guillotine cutting the song in to tiny fractions, there’s a determined drive behind it which is balanced against the soft retro 70’s sounding keys. Proceedings get decidedly funky on sixth track ‚Pineda‘, with its air of Massive Attack ambiance, it trickles hazily with a very soft static backdrop. Again industrial sounds crop up on the wonderfully spatial and creeping ‚Mondharke‘, reminiscent at times of Death in Vegas‘ ‚Aisha‘ at a reduced pace, it brings inhospitable and bleak alien landscapes to the fore. Following the upbeat and bouncy ‚Cool Your Jets‘, Jigsawtooth concludes with its title track, an equally joyful piece to its predecessor, a retro computer game sound encompasses the optimistic beat, and at the half-way point a funky hip-hop burst introduces itself. Overall Miwon swirls us through a wide range of his sonic catalogue of visions on his new album, and it’s a very, very enjoyable trip to take part in. (Remy Connolly / REMY)
After a nine-year hiatus, the return of Berlin’s Miwon sees a sensible addition to his catalogue with more bright ambient landscapes and techno sensibilities. True to the nature of N5MD records, the album continuously emphasizes melody with each 4-5 minute tune having a great deal of replay value while also expertly navigating open sonic terrain. The album somewhat loses the rhythmic directness of 2008’s A to B and perhaps strikes a less emotionally moving tone. Save the late-album dives into darkness, these songs are breezy and light. Still, the project keeps the listener engaged with spot-on songwriting with each passing track. The beginning of the album serves as a decent representation of much of the project. Opener “Fuzzy Words” builds swells above the active rhythmic foundation before the simple, but infectious melody comes in gently over the top. This track doesn’t dig too deep as it sort of stagnates forward, but it works great as an introduction to Miwon’s particular aesthetic. “Wolkengedoens” and “Shutter” are a bit more of the meat of the work. Here, Miwon works in more drastic developments by continuously pilling on layers and emphasizing new melodic ideas. “Wolkengedoens,” for instance brings in a high synth melody towards the last 30 seconds of the tune to give a new splash of color that contrasts the slightly melancholy melodic centerpiece of the song. “Shutter” is sluggish in tempo, opening the space for a blissful, wandering melody that gradually gets surrounded by more and more rhythmic activity, making for a natural, unpredictable development. “Mondharke”—track 7—serves as the first full-fledged look at violence and darkness. The crackling industrial sounds put the song on edge with pulsing low-end synths adding to the drama. “Cool Your Jets” doesn’t necessarily read as violent, but it maintains the dark, smoldering nature of the previous track with an especially bouncy melody over brooding chords and low-end rhythmic sounds. Although these two tracks contrast the sonic pallet of the beginning of the project, the exploration of this territory comes a bit late into the work. Without these additions, the album would’ve been a bit one-dimensional, but it doesn’t feel all that well integrated into the project. If Miwon had issued one of his more violent songs sooner into the track listing and then let that sound influence the tracks that followed the tug and pull between smoldering darkness and bright ambient sounds would’ve been more constant. There’s no shortage of great songwriting and it’s great to hear a long-anticipated work that bites like “Jigsawtooth,” but it might have been a bit more impactful had Miwon dabbled into the violent, smoldering side of his sound aesthetic more often in the work. (Donovan Burtan / positivelyunderground)
Miwon (aka Hendrik Kroez) just released his third album „Jigsawtooth“ on our beloved n5MD label. It’s a long-awaited follow up to his A to B music journey (via City Centre Offices). His latest album marries motorik techno infused rhythms with soaring pop ambient melodies. It’s also a near kraut/kosmische approach, cinematic and truthful to it’s destiny of making us devoted listeners. For me it sounds like home anywhere I go. It’s a warm solar system filled up with memories and future discoveries. Melodic messages go backwards and forth, Miwon is stacking all variables into one place and witnessing how we respond to feelings. (Niki Sorogas / giveitaspin)
The first listen to Miwon’s third and newest album, Jigsawtooth, will have you lulled into a soothing velvety panorama of electronic majesty. You will thank us for giving you the heads up on this timeless release! From the slow burner opening track Fuzzy Words, straight into the Boards of Canadesque Caharezza, right through to the final song; the minimal and mesmerising Centrifuge (bonus track), Jigsawtooth boasts a pristine and delicate delivery of soul-filled electronic music. Certainly one for the head phones, or pumped loudly on the car stereo, Miwon’s offering demonstrates a diverse taste in electronic music and extensive appreciation of music spanning the past four to five decades. In saying this, Jigsawtooth is an album that will cross the generational divide when it comes to appreciation of fine electronic music. (Sin / Yes Ma’am)
The antenna – a nod to retro futurism against that blanket of trees? A marriage of modernity with nature? Or simply a random photograph taken at the back of somebody’s house? I never believed in coincidences. Jigsawtooth is the third album from German IDM artist Hendrik Kroez , aka Miwon. It’s also the first for specialist label n5MD. And it’s a good one folks. Right from the onset we are offered an insight into Miwon’s modus operandi. Across this album Kroez takes a different aspect of the IDM spectrum and infuses it with pop sensibilities. ‘Fuzzy Words’, the opening track here is, ostensibly a classic IDM track with one foot in thoughtful house music and the other in downtempo chillout. However the beats are too happy, snappy and downright friendly to allow this music to remain in the background. It’s fun. It talks to the feet and the hips rather than the head. You’re forced to engage with this. The feat is repeated on the more Krautrock leaning ‘Spiderman.’ Repeated…. everywhere in fact, only Miwon does not confine himself to downtempo, house or any one particular facet of IDM. The other pieces here take in industrial, drone, ambient…you name it, making Jigsawtooth feel like a kind of greatest hits compilation for the myriad strands of the genre.
Warm, engaging and soulful, Jigsawtooth works spectacularly. ‘Cool Your Jets’ really wants to get funky as though someone diluted the spirit of Prince and filtered it though a Daft Punk-esque French electronic act. With that title I was expecting something more ambient, akin to Eno. Maybe I’m reaching somewhat here but that title has put a grin on my face for days now. Is it a knowing nod to the new age master? Brian Eno made his name in Roxy Music but is probably best known for his ambient work. However in the 70’s he released a handful of vocal/pop records, one of which is called Here Come The Warm Jets. These records are brilliant and anticipate a good deal of post-punk and even Britpop to follow later. As I mentioned, I’m probably overstretching here, imposing my own associations upon other artists work, but it feels as though Kroez is saying ‘there’s more than just ambience – there’s pop’ which is of course exactly true of his own record here.
Let me please stress here that Jigsawtooth sounds nothing like Eno vocal or ambient if we’re fair. The association works at the level of wordplay only. Think of it as a musical Easter Egg. Alternatively don’t give it second thought. Leave the ramblings of this senile reviewer right here and go have a listen to Miwon. It’s cool. (Brett Spaceman / [sic] Magazine)
Producer Henrik Kroz, who ridden under the name Miwon for the best part of his career, was an influential figure in the IDM scene of the 2000’s. Although he’s released a whole heap of material under the monikers of Cushion Caroms and Feedbackorchester since then, the artist’s Miwon alias was last seen in a distant 2008. He’s back now with a new album, Jigsawtooth, on Oakland’s legendary N5MD label, famous for pioneering the Mini-Disc format back in the days. Thankfully, almost ten years of silence from Miwon haven’t in any way changed the man’s skills behind board; in fact, this sounds like it could be his most accomplished work yet. Through nine tracks, the artist explores all the possible angles of the enlarged IDM domain, diving deep into some pseudo house through tunes like the sublime „Spiderman“, ducking out with warm glitches of lo-fi though „Pineda“, and landing one warm and delicate planes such as with „Cool Your Jets“. Magnetic and alluring. (Juno Records)
Irgendwo outer Space, zwischen Nightclubbing und Captain Kirk: Der Berliner Klangkünstler Hendrik Kröz beeindruckt auf seiner dritten Arbeit unter dem Projekt-Namen Miwon mit einer gelungenen Mixtur aus Techno-artigen Elektronik-Beats, sphärischen, organischen Drones und melodischen Samples, die ihre Sogwirkung nicht verfehlen und die Hörerschaft in Trance-artiges, geistiges Wegtreten versetzen. Zwischen Science-Fiction-Cosmic-Flow und Club-Grooves bewegt sich dieser Sound, trotz aller Abstraktion wohnt ihm nichts Kaltes inne, der Hörer fühlt sich vom Start weg wohl auf dieser einnehmenden, ins Rausch-hafte driftenden Klangreise. Die eleganten Tunes bedienen sich melodischer, warm fließender Electronica, feiner Pop-Ambient und an den Krautrock angelehnte Synthie-Klangteppiche definieren eine ureigene musikalische Sprache, die einen individuellen Pop-musikalischen Charme entwickelt, positiv nach vorne blickend, ohne unnötigen Ballast, in minimalistischer Manier die Schönheit der tonalen Struktur offenlegend. Man könnte im Übrigen auch darauf tanzen… (Gerhard Emmer / Kulturforum)
Ich war doch ganz überrascht, dass er aus Berlin kommt. Miwon aka Hendrik Kröz kreiert in seinen Songs einen ganz weichen und pulsierenden Sound. Mit „Jigsawtooth“ kam am 14. April ein Album mit 10 neuen Tracks des Musikers raus. Der Sound seiner neuen Tracks ist famos. Sie beinhalten so seichte Texturen und so wie in „Charezza“ betten sie sich in einen pulsierenden Beat ein, darin könnte man versinken. Es ist sein drittes Werk und darauf lässt er eine Art Ambient Pop zusammen mit Techno Einflüssen verweben. Das ist krautig und komisch zugleich. Es lässt einen so dermaßen abschweifen und eintauchen in einen anderen Sound. Das ist echt ziemlich spannend. „Spiderman“ ist da zum Beispiel ein Track, wie er ohne Probleme in einer Lounge laufen könnte. Ein solcher Sound regt mich regelrecht zum Abschweifen an. Nichts lieber als das in den nächsten knapp vier Minuten. So nimmt der Song mittendrin einfach mal etwas Fahrt auf. Richtig gut, und dann endet er abrupt. Aufhellender geht es bei „Cool Your Jets“ zu. Denn ansonsten ist das Album doch eher düster gehalten und verschlossener. Der vorletzte Track auf der Liste hellt das Gesamtwerk aber nochmal auf und macht daraus eine echte Augenweide für alle Fans von wirklich feinem Techno, gemischt mit Ambient. Ein tolles abwechslungsreiches Werk. Auch weil es einfach mal anders klingt. (Niklas Kolell / Soundkartell)
Bon Ok, la pochette ne fait pas super envie, mais la musique qui se cache derrière vaut le détour et le label qui l’héberge est une référence en matière de musique électronique. A mi-chemin entre electronica et ambient beat, avec de petites intonations jazz par moment, la musique de l’Allemand Miwon (aka Hendrik Kröz) s’avère d’un confort absolu, capable à la fois de vous faire danser ou de vous accompagner dans vos plus agréables rêveries. (Pop Revue Express)