[sic] Magazine

Miwon – Jigsawtooth

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.

Kroez is also a founding member of guitar ensemble Feedbackorchester and one half of the duo Cushion Caroms.