Lilienthal is a mystery to me, so we won't talk about them/him/her/it. I had a mixed experience with Sonna before this CD - their album (We Sing Loud) Sing Soft Tonight was underwhelming, but sounded like just a phase in their discography. I'd heard of Sybarite from their song "Killing the Moonshine" from the Temporary Residence "Thank You" CD, and from "Sanctuary," which I heard haphazardly somewhere. So, when I saw this little EP, I had to pick it up - it promised to tie up too many loose ends.
The style is sort of electro-acoustic, in the vein of Fridge, Four Tet, Tape, and so on. There is more beat than in Tape, but the same sort of sound otherwise, acoustic guitar crossed with controlled dissonance. Sometimes the rhythm is basic and straightforward, other times, like in the second half of "Carousel," it's multilayered and kind of insane. The guitar has its beat, the keyboard another, the noise another, and of course there are the actual drums - and then little drum snippets just to throw you off. But it ends up as constructive interference, and the whole sound is more than the sum of its crazy little parts. Taking the material from Sonna, Sybarite mixed one track, Lilienthal another, then the final track is a collaboration of all involved. Sybarite's track has more of a groove, and a great catchy finish that sounds so natural you'd swear they had a deal going with Sonna beforehand. Lilienthal's track is a little more spastic (described above) but sprawls more and has more of a variety of sounds. The last track is more ambient and changes up constantly, losing whole sets of samples suddenly and picking up others without looking back.
In my opinion, this CD is pretty much suited to anybody who can handle even a little bit of noise - like Kammerflimmer Kollektief, they use noise and freakiness breaks prudently and to the music's advantage. So enjoy these tracks, and if you like this kind of music, you really should just browse around at Temporary Residence's site; they're one of my favorite labels, consistently putting out music that fits my tastes almost exactly, and occasionally challenges them as well. With Tarentel, Eluvium, Mono, and practically everyone I mention in this review releasing for them, as well as the excellent pan-label "Travels in Constants" EPs, they may be the best independent label out there. Readers should know that I have little belief in labels in general, so please do not take this recommendation with a grain of salt.