electronic music producer

Pale Glitter

CD, LP, MP3 / City Centre Offices, 2006
Reviews in English, German, French, Italian, Dutch

Herr K makes tunes that shine and sparkle like Christmas decorations on a midnight iceberg. This is electronic pop so good that you don’t want to share it with anyone, but it’s worth it just to see the looks on people’s faces when you press Play. A good friend (‚in the darkness‘). (Swore Feagre)

„Brother Mole“ is one of my favourites of this year. Like many microhouse records, the song can seem deceptively simple, yet on closer listen reveals itself to be much more complex. Whenever this song appears on my playlist, it never fails to evoke a sense of relaxation and contentment in me. The key is the vocals and the subtle synths that bounce along effortlessly. With the catchy vocals and almost indie-pop feeling, it’s not far-fetched to describe this song as what Postal Service might sound like if they discovered microhouse. (the accursed share)

Miwons take on electronica is innovative and playful. „Brother Mole“ is elegiac yet rhythmic. „We’ve got friends in the darkness“ he chants. „Hush“ is a sleepy saunter through the disco after closing. „No Need For Sanity“ is a remix of a song by Estonian band Pia Fraus. It’s a dreamy glide of a song that gathers a little speed with its passing. „When Angels Travel“ is soundtrack music waiting to happen. It could easily belong in The Matrix, all robotic grandeur and sighing synths. (Luna Kafé)

The title-track, all dense-synth lines and relentless 4/4 beats, had me on first listen, and I could only hope the rest of Miwon’s debut was similarly spectacular. What „Pale Glitter“ suggests is that underground clubs beneath the glowing downtown of Berlin must all be spinning this record. Its mood wavers between celebratory and ominous but remains propulsive, even when drenched in ambient flourishes („Semafora“) or shaken by industrial noise („Flakes“). Even the few cuts that lack a dancefloor beat are ideal for the night: „When Angels Travel“ is when whatever medicine you’re taking that night turns on you, leaving you unable to find your friends, or lost in a back-alley you don’t recall walking toward, while „Rain or Shine“ is that peaceful, forgotten walk home. Miwon’s anonymity in indie-circles is most confounding when hearing „Pale Glitter“’s pop tracks; 7“ single „Brother Mole“ and „No Need for Sanity“ are both vocal-drenched electro-pop tunes, proving Miwon capable of being playful and chilled-out when the BPMs slow down. A multifaceted dance record, „Pale Glitter“ is a promising debut that never dulls or loses focus. (The Skeleton Crew)

Miwon makes some sort of blend between electronic pop and techno that’s refreshing without being cheesy, tapworthy without eventually becoming monotonous. One of the things that struck me about the record is that it seems to recall very much a winter landscape (and was released, accordingly, in January), yet somehow eschews the depressing vibes of the season and seems to conjure, instead, smiles. Downright lovely music. (the music lobby)

Judging by the exceptional quality of the twelve electronic pop gems constituting „Pale Glitter“, one might expect Hendrik Kroez (aka Miwon) to have a discography pages long. Surprisingly enough, the album’s his debut, a full-length follow-up to an earlier City Centre Offices 12-inch („Brother Mole“) and an appearance on Andrew Weatherall’s mix-disc Fabric 19. One notes immediately that „Pale Glitter“ is more dance-oriented than the average CCO release, and that its forays into microhouse, ambient, techno, and electro-pop are eminently convincing. Some of the material (the lush, silken microhouse streams of „Hush“) wouldn’t sound out of place on a Kompakt Total comp. The dubby, swirling head-nodder „Darting Ropes“ also recalls Thomas Fehlmann’s contributions to the Cologne label while „Brother Mole“ is a totally irresistible sampling of lush techno-pop, with Kroez chanting a charming paean to his animal friend („We got friends in the darkness“) over dubby bass lines and a sweetly bumping base; „No Need for Sanity“, a remix Miwon did for Estonian band Pia Fraus, is a similarly dreamy slice of vocal-based electro-pop. Superbly crafted and modulated, the driving, bubbly microhouse of „Semafora“ glides with a graceful élan as Kröz intersects e legant streams of washes with jittery percussive patterns, and punctuates the groove with an intermittent tock reverberating in the background. Techno dominates elsewhere, whether it’s the percolating, wiry techno of „Spiralize“ or the whirring, mechano-techno of „Flakes“. The album takes its most epic turn with the almost eight-minute title track, whose immersive, minimal techno recalls Porter Ricks‘ glorious Chain Reaction outing Biokinetics. „Pale Glitter“ impresses as an oft-heavenly and remarkably accomplished affair. (textura.org)

There’s something very interesting going on here with underground electronic label City Centre Offices. Mostly ambient and minimalistic electronics, but all very fresh sounding. Miwon is no exception to that either. „Pale Glitter“ mixes some of the best ambient sounds with some of the cutest danceable electronic beats I’ve ever heard. Every other song on this album is different, but still uniform. Searching for a new „Dntel“? (Everything Is Chemical)

Long before pop became a dirty word, music like this would have been capable of leading any edition of TOTP – as it is, only those who actively seek out their music are likely to encounter this astonishing LP. Opening through the opaque glow of „Semafora“, Miwon coaxes a fog of analogue business gingerly towards some chrome-plated beats, wherein they are left to happily rattle along amongst euphoric strings and twinkly-ness galore. Next up (on the cd edition only) is „Brother Mole“, a soft-centered electronic nursery-rhyme which will be familiar to many through its inclusion on Weatherall’s Fabric mix, before the tense (yet eminently welcoming) „Hush“ slides into view through deep minimal beats and eulogistic soundscape washes. Elsewhere, „No Need For Sanity“ is a springtime blush of pretty acoustica, „Vertizontale“ is a gumbo of old school house and campfire guitar, whilst the title track possesses a very real sense of shrouded menace, like a classic Chain Reaction twelve. Heartwarming loveliness. (Boomkat)

If one album could be said to best capture the City Centre aesthetic, „Pale Glitter“ is it. Throughout its course, Miwon encapsulates everything the Berlin-based label values and strives for, from jarring but impressive stylistic shifts to an often breath-taking balance of pop sensibilities and ambient mechanics. (forcefeed.org)

Miwon’s debut for City Centre Offices comes at just the right time of year for me, when a contemplative, quiet record of subtle melodies and soothing rhythms is just what I need to complement the freezing rain and ice-covered trees. While it’s not quite a pop record, there are some trappings of pop songwriting hidden in „Pale Glitter“ that keep the album from being just another collection of unoffensive ambient techno. Miwon mixes it up here between minimal but dance-inspired arrangements of icy disco and electro pop-flavored tunes with twinkling synths and effervescent voices, and the whole thing works for me as a mid-winter soundtrack. Every time I take this record for a spin, the journey is somehow rewarding. (brainwashed.com)

Just when I’m getting a little annoyed with the endless stream of average, sound-alike electronic/IDM releases, something comes along and redeems the genre. „Pale Glitter“ has a deep, lush, late night vibe, perfect for cruising in your car through futuristic cityscapes. There are a couple of more abstract tracks here, but for the most part the album has a pop feel that I suspect might appeal to the Boards-Of-Canada-is-the-only-electronic-album-I-own crowd. The two vocal tracks are immediately melodic and accessible, with the overall album sounding something like a cross between März’s „Wir Sind Hier“ and Burger/Ink’s classic „Las Vegas“. (angryrobot.net)

With his first album on City Centre Offices, Hendrik Kröz delivers a finely defined German minimal tech house(y) electronic pop. With a previous EP a couple of years earlier on the same label, Hendrik foreshadows his debut with a super tight mid range kick which guides you through a four-to-the-floor giddy rhythmic skip and synth hop. One can not help but flashback to Berlin’s semi-underground clubs, like Tresor (which I was lucky to hit up one night) towards the early (or just super late) hours, when the pounding strobe light induced techno subdues down to the ambient fog enveloped lighter beats. Favorite tracks: „Brother Mole“ and „Rain or Shine“. (Headphone Commute)

It’s rare these days to find a minimal house album that doesn’t dally in the repetitive, and Miwon’s „Pale Glitter“ is one example. Whereas most house albums focus on either vocal samples, A-B-A form progressions, or a few unique sounds without really pursuing innovation in the style or composition of the music, Miwon creates rare moments when seemingly uncoordinated beats and texturized sounds suddenly lock grooves, where out of the gloaming of a bass drone steps a fleeting moment of ecstatic melody like the pink lining of clouds at sunset. In other instances he captures exactly the pop ambient aesthetic Kompakt trumps as their unique gift to the world of micro-electronica but more often than not fails to produce. (Micron)

Even though he’s been an active member of the Berlin-based music scene for some time now, „Pale Glitter“ is only the debut album from artist Miwon (Hendrik Kröz). Last year, he scored quite a coup with the release of his very first 12″, landing a John Tejada mix of his song „Brother Mole“ on Andrew Weatherall’s acclaimed Fabric 19 mix. The original version of that song is included on this debut album along with 11 other warm electronic pop tracks, and the solid release should mark Miwon as an artist worth paying attention to. „Pop“ is always such a subjective term, and his music doesn’t come close to touching on bouncy, vocal-driven pop. Instead, this is electronic pop via way of Berlin. It’s minimal, clean, dense, and warm. „Semafora“ opens the disc with pulsing gurgles and some soft textural layers while rhythmic elements gradually make their way into the track but never quite kick in enough to push it over onto the dancefloor. The aforementioned „Brother Mole“ follows, and while it doesn’t quite have the obvious hooks of the remixed version (where they’ve all been pushed to the forefront), the wiggle-factor is undeniable as simple synth melodies bounce perfectly off the playful vocals. Some of the best tracks on the album are also the ones where Miwon strips things down and simply lets his minimal dancefloor side roll. Both the album-titled „Pale Glitter“ and „Hush“ thump along with relentless 4/4 kicks and loads of textural washes (similar to what one might expect from the late-great Force Inc label). Elsewhere, he drops micro-sampled loops and clicky beats („Flakes“), super-murky, almost dark experimental („When Angels Travel“) and a couple of tracks that push the envelope of dance music cheese-factor (the dated synth warbles of the album-closer „Tempo Woman“). One of the best tracks on the release is actually a remix of a song by the Estonia dream-pop group Pia Fraus. On „No Need For Sanity“, Miwon melts away most of the original track, leaving in a pitter-patter beat, some minimal synths, and filtered vocals that change the entire direction of the track while still leaving it engaging. On „Spiralize,“ he drops some gritty sounds and a thumping beat for what sounds like a nod back to Weatherall by channelling the dirty electro-funk of Two Lone Swordsmen. As a whole, Pale Glitter is a pretty engaging disc, despite a couple soft spots that don’t seem to have the same lush aesthetic (namely the aforementioned „Flakes“). Considering it’s just a debut, though, there’s plenty to love about the album, and hopefully Kröz will refine his sound even more in the future.
(Almost Cool)

Bereits 2002 überraschte Miwon aka Hendrik Kröz mit dem Track „Cold Beauty“ auf einer Split-EP 12“ unglaublich warme Klänge, vielschichtig verwoben und darunter ein durchdringender 4/4-Takt. Das zeigte, das auch Electronica imstande war das Tanzen zu lernen. Ähnlich eingängige und warme Micro-House-Tracks gibt es auf Miwons Debütalbum „Pale Glitter“ auch zu hören. Teilweise wird sogar zum großartigen, großspurigen und leichtfüßigen Electro-Pop-Song ausgeholt, inklusive butterweicher Vocals und hoher Melodiösität. „Brother Mole“ ist so ein Stück, dem man sich quasi nicht entziehen kann. Doch ebenso die andere, etwas düstere und experimentellere, Seite findet auf dem Album ihren Platz. Da entgleiten Instrumentals in weitläufige Dub-Landschaften oder setzen auf stromlinienförmigen Minimal-Techno. „Pale Glitter“ ist bei dem Berliner Label City Centre Offices erschienen und einige Medienresonanzen gingen sogar soweit zu sagen, dass hiermit bereits ein aussichtsreicher Kandidat für das Electronic-Album des Jahres am Start sei. Übertrieben ist dies beileibe nicht. (Tonspion)

„Pale Glitter“ ist laut Hendrik Kröz (Miwon) eine treffende Bezeichnung für den Sound auf diesem Album, lese ich im de:bug: „Etwas Verwaschenes, einen Glitzer, der etwas morbide ist“. Eine Melancholie, die etwas Zeit braucht, um durch die Einfachheit, ich möchte fast sagen Belanglosigkeit, dieser Tracks hindurch zu wirken, sich auszubreiten. Stimmungsmusik für Melancholiker mit einem Lächeln auf den Lippen. Man muss die Melancholie ja nicht in schwarzen Kleidern zur Schau tragen: Man kann sie ebenso gut durch ein Lächeln hindurch scheinen lassen. So wirkt sie fast noch mehr, braucht nur etwas mehr Zeit, um ihre Wirkung zu entfalten. (Musikzimmer)

Miwon weiß, wie man die Elektronika-Klaviatur rauf und runter spielt und gleichzeitig immer wieder kurze minimal technoide Perlen mit ins Rennen wirft (zum Beispiel der wunderschöne Titeltrack „Pale Glitter“). Ein sehr heterogenes Album, das sich mit viel Liebe zum Detail den unterschiedlichen Stimmungen seiner Tracks annimmt. Da folgt eine melancholisch verträumte Songskizze („Rain or Shine“) auf einen düster schiebenden Midtempo- Track mit warmen Chord-Tupfern („Flakes“) und ein fast klassischer Elektronika-Track mit funkelndem Melodiereigen und Knitterbeats („Vertizontale“) auf einen pumpenden Vier-Viertel-Track, der sich in in einer loopig plinkernden Melodie wälzt („Spiralize“). Ein sehr schönes und abwechslungsreiches Album. (de:bug)

Guidare di mattina. Con il volante congelato e il ghiaccio. Di fronte a te. Che io di voglia di levarlo dal vetro non ne ho. e allora accendo l’aria calda. E aspetto che si sciolga e nel mentre. guido, cercando di intravedere la strada tra gli spiragli ghiacciati. Miwon è una possibile colonna sonora per mattine come questa. Suoni sintetici e beat sussurrati, synth, sfragamenti, tra una canzone e l’altra immaginarsi il suono della neve che cade. E la neve potrebbe fare questo rumore. Ma invece non si sente nulla, solo il resto della città che si muove. (empty’s room)

Miwon, Hendrik Kröz, e‘ stato un membro attivo della scena elettronica di Berlino per molto tempo. Centinaia di live P.A.s creo‘ „Pale Glitter“ e‘ il suo primo album, e giunge a quasi un anno di distanza dal vinile „Brother Mole“ rilasciato dalla stessa City Centre Offices. Miwon in questa avventura sonora abbraccia tutto il suo background musicale, fatto di elettronica d’ascolto e sperimentazioni sonore, per trasformarlo in un insieme di motivi orecchiabili e melodie accattivanti. Per certi versi puo‘ essere considerato come un album di pop, composto si al 100% di elettronica, ma comunque pop nel senso giusto del termine. La title-track „Pale Glitter“, cosi‘ come „Hush“, sono ottimi esempi di minimal deep essenziale, in „Brother Mole“ c’e‘ il lato pop dell’autore e, in altre tunes quali „Rain Or Shine“ o „When Angels Travel“, la sua visione piu‘ sperimentale. In casa City Centre Officies e‘ un artista apprezzatissimo che viene considerato come uno dei migliori del versante pop-sperimentale dell’elettronica, ascoltando attentamente la sua musica dobbiamo proprio dargli ragione… (Altroverso)

„Brother Mole“, single efficace bénéficiant d’un très beau remix de John Tejada (CCO, 2004), avait placé le nom de Miwon sur pas mal de lèvres : le titre avait été placé par le grand Andrew Weatherall sur son mix pour Fabric (19e volet des Fabric Series). On retrouve sur le premier album „Pale Glitter“ de Miwon les titres de ce premier jet (excepté le remix précité) et une poignée de titres enregistrés ces dernières années par le musicien berlinois. Assez orientés vers la pop et la danse, ces morceaux se distinguent de l’electronica mélodique par l’utilisation de rythmiques appuyées, façon techno ou house. Le résultat pourrait être quelque chose comme la rencontre de l’univers d’Ulrich Schnauss avec l’écurie Kompakt. Mais il n’y a que cela, Miwon fait aussi des incursions dans l’ambiant („Darting Ropes“) ou vers une électronique plus abrupte, étonnante („Flakes“ par exemple), et offre quelques surprises de parcours bienvenues. Un disque sobre, cohérent, réussi. (Autres Directions)

Typisch Berlijns, dit debuutalbum van Miwon oftwel Hendrik Kröz. Slimme minimale techno met gelijke porties dub, pop en electronica. Tot zover de korte versie van deze recensie. Gelukkig is er meer aan de hand. Zo verstaat Kröz de kunst van de opbouw. Waardoor bijvoorbeeld openingsnummer „Semafora“ (stoplicht) langzaam maar zeker uitrolt tot iets moois. Pas na drie minuten komt er een piepkleine snaredrum bij. En op de prachtige, op warme toetsen gespeelde melodie moeten we nog een minuut langer wachten. Dan is het nummer al bijna afgelopen. En wil je meer. Pale Glitter kent meer van dat soort nummers. Ook de (vorig jaar verschenen) single „Brother Mole“ is er zo eentje. Daarentegen drijft de remix die Miwon voor de Estse band Pia Fraus deed meer richting indietronics en groepen als Lali Puna en Mum. En Kröz schuwt het experiment niet, zo blijkt uit donkere spacetracks als „When Angels Travel“ en „Flakes“. Afwisseling genoeg, maar er is ook een rode draad. Nooit gebruikt de Duitser grote geluiden of zware beats. „Pale Glitter“ kruipt daardoor langzaam bij je naar binnen. Fijne plaat. (Kindamuzik)

Berli?ska elektroniczna scena ma ca?e krocie swych istotnych, zas?u?onych „postaci” – Stefan Betke, Jan Jelinek, Ronald Lippok, Robert Henke to tylko niektóre z wa?niejszych nazwisk „?rodowiska”. Do tego szacownego grona zaliczy? mo?emy równie? Hendrika Kröza, który – cho? dopiero teraz wydaje swój debiutancki, du?y album – ju? od jakiego? czasu ma spory wp?yw na rozwój i funkcjonowanie sceny. Organizator wielu imprez [mi?dzy innymi s?ynnych ju? „bitew na laptopy“] da? si? pozna? jako skuteczny animator, wydawca, równie? muzyk i producent. Jego pierwsza p?yta – „Pale Glitter” jest po prostu jeszcze jednym potwierdzeniem umiej?tno?ci i talentów Kröza. Nie mówimy tu na pewno o muzycznym objawieniu, prze?omie. Miwon nie chce si? ?ciga? w takiej kategorii – artysta proponuje nam raczej dopracowany, nowoczesny materia? pop, b?d?cy – wg mnie – murowanym kandydatem do roli sztandarowego punktu odniesienia dla przysz?ych m?odych elektroników. Nie jest wi?c prze?omowo, jest za to definicyjnie – „Pale Glitter” to profesjonalna, przemy?lana mieszanka najpopularniejszych w ostatnich latach elektroniczno-popowych brzmie?. Hendrik Kröz ?wietnie potrafi wyczu? zarówno oczekiwania bardziej wymagaj?cych nowomuzyczan, jak i tych, którzy flirtowa? chc? z obecnie panuj?cymi tendencjami w nieco ?atwiejszej elektronice. „Przyjemnie i ambitnie” – tak powinno brzmie? has?o promocyjne tego materia?u; nie ulega bowiem w?tpliwo?ci, ?e sw? produkcj? Miwon umiej?tnie pozwala s?uchaczowi odpr??y? si?, jednocze?nie daje uspokajaj?ce poczucie obcowania z d?wi?kiem warto?ciowym i godnym uwagi. Obok utworów, które sw? lekko?ci? przypominaj? ostatnie nagrania Static [najbardziej zwiewny w ca?ym zestawie „Brother Mole“ jest chyba najs?abszym punktem materia?u] Hendrik Kröz proponuje brzmienia ocieraj?ce si? o ambient, minimal, dub czy typowo berli?skie granie [k?ania si? fascynacja dorobkiem Chain Reaction]. Wszystko przyprawione jest ch?odem perkusyjnych automatów, równie? wielk? przestrzeni? pojawiaj?cych si? do?? cz?sto d?wi?kowych smug – tu wpada do g?owy porównanie z doskona?ym norweskim Mind Over Midi. Najpi?kniej jest chyba w utworze tytu?owym, idealnie wyprodukowanym, nieco monumentalnym, pulsuj?cym typowo berli?skim bitem. Idealny oddech, zdrowe elektroniczne orze?wienie, po którym nadchodzi „When Angels Travel”, kawa?ek najbardziej wymagaj?cy, jednocze?nie dowodz?cy du?ej muzycznej wra?liwo?ci autora. Ca?o?? ko?czy si? za? ponownie elektronicznym popem z l?ejszej gatunkowo pó?ki. „Pale Glitter” jest wi?c swoist? definicj? wspó?czesnego ambitnego popu. Dodajmy – g?ównie instrumentalnego, Hendrik Kröz nie zdecydowa? si? bowiem zaanga?owa? wi?kszej ilo?ci intryguj?cych wokali. Kto wie, mo?e to w?a?nie ta decyzja daje tej p?ycie tyle plusów – ?piewane utwory wychodz? Miwonowi znacznie mniej interesuj?co. (Krzysiek Steplowski / Nowamuzyka.pl)