Out of Line
The objective here seems absolutely clear. After the backlash of some fans (not this one I hasten to add) against the ambient soundscapes of Ninetynine, (only to be further irritated by its equally esoteric remix follow-up Ninetynine Remixes), Daniel Myer has chosen to go back to what first sent Haujobb soaring above all competition. Namely, IDM with an industrial edge (cf the mashed percussion beats of Slide).
Let's be clear though, Vertical Theory is no Solutions for a Small Planet. It has echoes of that landmark but remains very firmly in its shadow. Coincidentally, all the best material can be found in the second half of the album. Tracks such as the chilled Concrete, the clever structures of Claim The Planet and the stylistic blending of Faith In Chaos, and the final Penetration step forward as the most robust representatives of this cluster of eleven. However, its hard to shake the impression once more that Myer is operating to some extent on cruise control. If Myer were simply less prolific across his broad range of projects it might result in more soul searching and ultimately more significant work. But hey, any Myer is always worth a listen and many may well be satisfied with the dosage this provides. 6/10
Rob Dyer (September 2004)
Released in 1999, on the cusp of a new millennium, this fifth (including the cassette-only Drift Wheeler) Haujobb album stands as a high watermark in the band's output terms of concept and execution. The style here is way more ambient electronica that the industrial fringes or even IDM of preceding (and subsequent) Haujobb releases. It was the first Haujobb album that several friends of mine, hiherto non-plussed by the band, sat bolt upright and took notice. This was the first Haujobb album to be written and performed by just Myer and Samardzic, with former member B. Junemann having left after the release of Homes and Gardens.
Here are nine tracks that sound and feel as if they were written in one amazingly creative and mammoth recording session. (The depth of the work even sustained an equally striking remix album just months/a year later in Ninetynine Remixes.) At the time the Daniel Myer/Dejan Samardzic Haujobb project was readily categorised in the Industrial/IDM crossover area. So it was a bold move to release an album of such overt change of direction.
This set of low BPM compositions segue into one another effortlessly creating a steady stream of chilled, dreamlike soundscapes. The sound style is typified by standout track Overflow with its vulnerable vocals by Sarah Briggs. (Briggs shares co-writing credits on Overflow and Less). It demonstrates solid evidence of Myer's ability to turn his hand convincingly to any sub-genre of electronic music that he so chooses. It must be either frustrating as hell or an inspiration for his peers to see him move from field to field seemingly with such ease and to such impressive results too.
Creator is about as busy as it gets but the retains all the album's hallmarks: drifting rich electronics, cut-up percussion, reversed instrumentation and sound samples, intricate structures and plenty of wide, open spaces. The album contains an unlisted tenth track that hands over ten minutes worth of samples used as the building blocks for most of the album. Over the following couple of years this resulted in many of the same sounds cropping up on many other, lesser band's releases. None of which came anywhere close to emulating their source. Essential. (Released in two different sleeve designs on two different labels in Europe and the USA). 8/10
Rob Dyer (July 2007)
Official Haujobb website: http://www.planetmyer.de