[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
The albums which take longest to reveal themselves are often the most rewarding, this is most definitely proven once again by Polygon’s ‘Einzelheiten’ from 2016. It is another archival collection which we’re given and yet it feels far fresher and more engaging than 2015’s ‘Sein Lernen’. Why this is I really couldn’t tell you; let us just say that his label weren’t the only ones to make the connection it has to ‘Images’ and ‘Omnon’. I’ll go one further: if you own the highly limited ‘Mental Border’ then this will be an easy sell. Even if you do not there’s an inescapable fact about his work… there’s no comparative outside of himself to be made.
Over the many years Ingo has been working under this moniker more than a few changes have been made to the overall sound. Around the turn of the millennium is when he broke through the barriers and assumed the approach he now brandishes with brilliant, incisive skill. The history of Polygon is one cloaked by a refusal to expound on his methods; a more low-profile electronic act I have yet to come across. Try and count the number of interviews he has given, I don’t even know if he’s played live under this name. There have been the collaborations, most notably with For A Space, but they have been one offs.
Getting to know ‘Einzelheiten’ was no simple task. Again, the claim is that this is work he dug out of his personal vault but so much feels current that I don’t know if I buy that. His focus on singular sounds and tendency to let a few scant progressions carry the song are what made it such an odd record to absorb, never before had things gotten this sparse. An example of where he’s at now would be the track “Gedankengut” which is based upon a simple rhythm over which what sounds like a harp and bells are overlaid at differing speeds. What it creates is a field of disorientation cunningly disguised as a relaxing melodic excursion.
Plenty of other pieces on here follow the template which we fans know and love so well: dark electronic atmospheres fused to wiry synthetics and beats which drive and then disappear into the continually mutating web of samples lurking in the background.
Music for the mind this most definitely is, there isn’t a hook to be found here no matter how long you listen. If he’s working on new material you and I will be the last to know; that he managed to issue two new full-length albums with such minor notice would have infuriated me years back but ever since ‘Images’ appeared to radio silence in the press I’ve made my peace with all that. After all, this is a fellow who ran one of the most incredible electronic/experimental labels yet for nearly a decade completely under the radar of most… it is very pleasing that his isolated and enigmatic meditations continue.