You’ve got to grant Raster-Noton one thing: They have fully understood how to cleanse electronic music in order to make it become puristic funk. The label from Chemnitz has proven that they are willing to give everything they have in search for the essence of groove, together with their corner stones Diamond Version, Byetone, Kangding Ray, Frank Bretschneider, and, in this case, Pixel. Their music is hardly ever about harmonies – instead, the rhythm is the heartbeat of all creation and being. This purity of groove might even be great enough to do credit to the JBs. Within the electronic context, they keep trying to knock down the utmost impenetrable limits of experimental electronics: the funk-flowed minefield of Autechre – albeit in much more minimalistic dress. The rhythm always develops from extremely modulated sound fragments, which are reduced by compression, an entire fleet of filters and distortion to a shadow of their former self, until there is nothing left but creaking and noise. These sound diamonds have a continuous reciprocal effect on one another, like long-term occupants of this illustrious funk-expedition-unit, so that the listener is pushed to the borders of light-headedness. However, over the whole length of an album, the colors of the sounds remain pretty unvaried – we move exclusively along the lines of minimalistic drum & creak. Still: Its complexity and its constantly evolving rhythmic structures make »Mantle« a sexy and vibrant impulse of energy.