Les Points seem to lead a bit of a charmed life. From the outside in, the Swiss producers look to be blessed with endless strings of gigs in their hometown of Zurich and beyond, while away their days knocking out trippy art designs, and sit on an ever-inflating discography of refined electronic productions. It’s an enviable lifestyle that the collective of Louh, Audino, Barbir, and Nicola Kazimir are enjoying.
None of it has come without hard work though. They’ve quickly stamped out an easily recognizable brand, while in the studio they’ve taken a considered and diligent approach to perfecting their style and sound. Last year’s YOUKNOWWHATMINIMALISCH taught lessons in restraint and reduction, across a range of genres; it also trumpeted their new jam-centred approach—rough around the edges and brimming with energy.
Anthoms picks up where that last album left off: one year on, and one year more zany. The day-glo smilies embossed on the earlier work’s cover have been traded for a bold black-and-white still of a nude male. The whole package is full of loud statements, not least within the tracks themselves: not one sounds the same as the next, though they are all unified by their slightly imperfect design. There's a distinct lack of intros and outros and no common tempo. Elements come, go, and reshape themselves, and the guessing game continues.
There’s a good chunk of four-to-the-floor material in there for DJs: take the confident blend of graceful chords and rugged beat in “Sowaswotdochjede” for example, one of the album’s highlights. “Warpz” relies on a similar effect, carving and chopping up trancey synths into a sharp and pacy banger. “Motherearth Ohne” and “Kosmicspace” are their less angular counterparts, both stripped back to gentler, groovy basslines and tight hi hat combinations (barring a big room crash cymbal that briefly turns up in the former).
Those cuts aside, Anthoms is largely filled with deeper experiments in electronics. Some of the results are bound to split opinion: closing track “Finalboss” is loud and in-your-face, and the glitchy breaks of “Alphex” aren’t easy listening. Equally, the clunky, dark electro of “Bakteria” drags on slightly; however, the all too brief “8bit” should have looped on forever. As its title suggests, it sounds like it was built with a retro Nintendo machine—a bit of fun, but with some thoughtful sound design. The same positivity rings out of laidback opener “Dolphinhouse,” awash with wistful synths, dainty piano keys and perhaps even a sample of the waterborn creature.
In its murkier moments, the album also offers reasons to return. The hazy “Credittofbahyposampleditbabes” is crafted around a chugging beat and reverberating bells. “Attentionv2” is far darker—it chugs along, harangued by an echoing call to attention. Not a lot happens, though it’s got a certain mysticism, an anxiety-inducing quality, and is thoroughly hypnotic.
As a whole, Anthomsis the culmination of a few years of musical maturation. The Swiss producers have said good bye to convention, and hello to studio innovation. Looking back to their earliest releases though, it’s clear that if anything, Les Points have only grown more silly—let’s hope it continues.
B3 Motherearth Ohne