Black to Comm Alphabet 1968

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On his debut for the Type label, Mark Richter (a.k.a. Black to Comm) departs dramatically from the more organic, drone-based recordings that his fans are used to hearing. Instead, Alphabet 1968 relies much more on the interplay of discrete percussive elements, evident on the frantic pulsing of "Houdini Rites" and the homemade gamelan mysticism of "Musik Für Alle." Though Richter maintains his found-sound, sample-based approach to composition, especially on album closer "Hotel Friend," the more heady dirges that he is known for are presented in bits, as on the organ-swollen "Traum GmbH" and the foreboding deepness of "Void." The effort is much appreciated—one can get sick of drones after a while—but it's not certain that Richter's fans will be quite as enthralled with his departure.