ERVIN OMSK “Peilen” (Orange Milk)

Sven Fritz, the composer behind the Ervin Omsk pseudonym, has a name that I really, REALLY want to pronounce out loud in a heavy German accent. Don’t worry – I’m as German as they come, with several years’ studying the language to boot, so I’m among my peers, my peoples, my blood when I say this. Plus, there’s just an incredible amount of force one can inject into the German accent. Lots of plosives.

As Ervin Omsk, Fritz hits us with a debut album that is almost all plosives. Well, not t, d, or b sounds, per se, but percussive ones, tactile drum and cymbal hits, electronic bursts and rolls, synth blurts and loops that, if the sounds were coming from your mouth, would fill it completely with potential energy before your lips, tongue, and teeth would render it kinetic. Sometimes emerging in a jumbled rush, at others tentatively testing the ground with what passes for feet (anthropomorphize all sound now!), Ervin Omsk compositions are never dull, fizzing and popping and whirring with potency as they react like unstable compounds in a heated beaker.

What can pass at first for noise often resolves into fractal patterns, resulting in a distinct payoff as the dimensions of the tracks take shape. And that’s sort of the fun of it, the whole point even, maybe: the process. Latching onto that process and realizing how it unfolds is so satisfying, especially when the outcome is as meaty and complex as Peilen is. Plus, Peilen means “to gauge” or “to determine direction” or “to understand” in German. You’re essentially doing all three things at once when you’re listening to Ervin Omsk, so your brain’s certainly getting a workout. Now if I could only get off my couch and get my body to do the same thing…