Various Artists | Peter Grummich Plays Staubgold: Dinner Music for Clubbers
Most Likely To: make you wish that all ravers aged this gracefully.
Electronics are strange. While they have successfully wormed their way into just about every form of music imaginable, genres built entirely around them still remain niche-to-death. Think about it: when’s the last time an ambient group came up in your party shuffle? Probably close to never, unless you’re really into ambient music. And if you’re that into ambient music to the point where the genre casually intersects with your daily life, nine times out of ten you’re either an Eno-nerd, over forty and heavily bearded, European, or in Apse; all good things, yes, just not common things (except maybe the over forty bit).
If you’re not in any of said categories, Dinner Music for Clubbers probably won’t be accompanying your au gratin anytime soon. In the event that you are (or aspire to be), you’ll at least be mostly satisfied. The greater bulk of Dinner Music is comparatively impressive. From across the board we have tracks that are lush, vibrant mood pieces that rarely overstay their welcome and generally succeed in keeping the listener totally unoffended.
Of particular note are two contributions from Alejandro Franov that easily outshine most of the other offered material without taking anything away from their own respective statements. Franov’s pieces are natural, organic, even playful at times. They retain a tangible soul that most of the other bits on the record dance around but never fully embrace. And while there are no real stinkers on Dinner Music (save for Reuber’s God-awful chip-tune b-side “Spielkind”), the overall bulk of content seems almost afraid to stray too far from anything that doesn’t sound right at home over the P.A. in your local Whole Foods.
I suppose that my greatest criticism of Dinner Music for Clubbers would have to be simply that it does little to shake from the genre any of the stale cliches with which it has come to be associated. Of course nobody is expecting this to be any kind of great rallying cry for this little area of the musical world’s devotees but it still would have been nice if more of the various artists included had followed the example of subtlety set by Alejandro Franov, Rafael Toral, and Andrew Pekler.
Still, Dinner Music is what it is and does what it sets out to do and really, I can’t fault it too much for that. And hell, we all need something to act as a soundtrack to our next hardcore Myst and tantric sex binges, so it might as well be this.