Boolean Logic

by: QPE

Sometimes chillout music can get so chilled that your eyes glaze over and you just fall asleep. And sometimes club music gets so self-consciously clever, so ironically self-referential, and so off-puttingly trendy that you stop wanting to dance to it. Kacy Wiggins, who records as QPE (for "quiet personal electronics"), seems to have had enough of both scenes. But instead of reacting with a kiss-off message album or an angry "death-of-the-scene" screed written in an alternative paper, he's responded by making one of the warmest, most approachable, and most enjoyable chillout albums of recent years. Try not to be fooled by the information-theory titles he's given to both the album and many of its tracks; while this may be music made on a computer, QPE's sound is consistently warm and generous. His beats tend toward the reggae end of the rhythmic spectrum, and his production style is heavily influenced by vintage dub -- note the minimalist vocal samples on "Fulcrum" and the way they tail off into the reverb-drenched sunset every time they pop up, as well as the synthesized sounds of water drops and crickets on "OR." "Out" generates a darker vibe, but it still comes across as personal and inviting rather than hip and forbidding. Every track follows that same general pattern. Brilliant. ~ Rick Anderson

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