Pom Pom, CD 001

[Pom Pom]

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Those hoping the first CD release from the ultra mysterious Pom Pom imprint would provide hints as to the identity of the artist behind the long-running series will be sorely disappointed: Following the theme of all-black vinyl releases, the CD is, of course, totally black all around, including both sides of the disc itself. Message received, then. So what do we know? Not much, really. The label has been issuing untitled vinyl releases since 2001, and if the blurbs on various websites are to be believed, he/she/they are from Berlin. Everything else known about Pom Pom is told through the sounds of the 32-and-counting record releases and now this debut CD recording.

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That said, there is a whole world of information contained in those grooves; a world of sounds and rhythms unique to Pom Pom, and yet showing distinct splashes of others: Pole’s layers of static and buzz, Basic Channel’s dubbed-up and filtered analog textures, Aphex Twin’s bizarre sense of humor and love of rhythmic noises, and more. The mix may have some recognizable parts, but the whole stands on its own entirely. Most of the 14 tracks on the CD are six minutes or shorter, making them feel a bit more like abstracts of much longer experiments, boiled down so the final result gives the essence of the hours of work behind it; but it never provides the whole story, lest the mystery fades away (clearly a big theme for Pom Pom). And while the CD release certainly takes that first baby step toward accessibility for the notoriously low profile outfit, the music hasn’t been compromised one bit. It is intentionally odd, but still folds into minimal sets with ease thanks to its steady rhythmic pulse and metallic sound palette.

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No two tracks sound too much alike, but they are all clearly of a set: steady, fairly uncomplicated beats smothered with noise, submerged in interference as if some wild-eyed scientist were trying with only some success to broadcast fractured pop tunes from the parallel land of Pom Pom, reaching out into space to make contact with the other side. I’m sure it’s nothing so elaborate, but then again, that’s the beauty of the enigmatic artist — they can be anything you want them to be.

ballyhoo  on February 4, 2009 at 11:42 PM

huge fan of track 3. the end of it is such a tease!

smn  on February 5, 2009 at 7:06 AM

Wow. Now that’s what I’m talking about.

Track 10 especially is super deep and suuuper heavy.

Reminds me in ways of Porter Ricks. Which is of course a good thing.


eric cloutier  on February 5, 2009 at 7:43 AM

i had about 15 of the pom-pom cd’s when they were coming out in quick succession in the early part of the concepts creation and i sold them all because i was like “the fuck am i going to use these for?”

now i regret it. a lot.

eric cloutier  on February 5, 2009 at 9:11 AM

and i man ep’s…fuck…

that’s what i get for typing things online before i have my tea…

Join  on February 5, 2009 at 9:29 AM

Where can I get it?

andrew  on February 5, 2009 at 10:52 AM

isnt pom pom one of the friendly chaps from space hall berlin?

Miao  on February 5, 2009 at 11:06 AM

wow, this is something quite different, interesting.

btw, first time on the site, looks great, bookmark!

hello from beijing~

hutlock  on February 5, 2009 at 1:20 PM

@ Join:

there’s a link above on where you can buy the CD in the US. If you need a link in Europe, let me know and I’ll post one, but I imagine Phonica, Juno, and Hardwax all carry it. No Beatport though, sorry.

Adamm  on February 5, 2009 at 1:23 PM

wow, it’s awesome how the filter on the bass makes you feel like the track is slowing down then back up again, cool stuff.

Join  on February 6, 2009 at 7:40 AM

Thanks hutlock! I clicked the link, but it came up through Forced Exposure as “try again”, meaning they don’t have it right now. Perhaps it’s being distributed through them soon. It’s a shame, because I just did an order through them.

hutlock  on February 6, 2009 at 1:57 PM

I think you are correct — it seems like its out of stock. I assume you’re in the US then… you could always try my man John over at Bent Crayon — that’s where I bought it, so I know he had it at one point at least. I’m heading there after work if you want me to check! :-)

Join  on February 7, 2009 at 7:59 AM

Yes, I’m in Philadelphia. Thanks a lot, but I just saw the response this morning (Saturday). I will check with them myself. I appreciate the tip!

ballyhoo  on February 9, 2009 at 12:11 PM

other music in nyc is carrying a vinyl double pack of this album (they had CDs too at one point and may still have them).

hutlock  on February 9, 2009 at 12:58 PM

Forced Exposure also has the vinyl, but be warned that it has fewer tracks than the CD version.

hutlock  on February 9, 2009 at 1:00 PM

I should also add that I’m NOT 100% positive that Pom Pom 32 (that’s the vinyl pack) and Pom CD001 are the same release. The vinyl came out in August, while the CD came out in December, for one thing… They might be, but I can’t vouch for it personally.


Little White Earbuds » Little White Earbuds February Charts  on April 4, 2009 at 5:39 PM

[…] Elif Bi├žer, “OK” [Ostgut Tontrager] 08. Anstam, “B-side” [Anstam] 09. Pom Pom, “Track 3″ [Pom Pom] 10. STP, “The Fall (Peverelist remix)” Sub […]

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