May 1, 2003
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Soft Pink Truth
The Wind-Up Bird
April 30, 2003
Pale Horse and Rider
Stephan Mathieu and Ekkehard Ehlers
April 29, 2003
Set Fire to Flames
the short skinny mix
Electro built to last decades. Analogue from the core. Equipment list: TR 808, Linndrum, MC 505, etc. Acute angles of beats and claps. Preferred Listening Medium: dancefloor on 12". As a CD, it's one extreme electro drive. Maybe for the longhaul across Canada. It sacrifices warmth for the sharp cut. Except for "Lights & Sex (Robert Calvin rmx)" where flowing pads contrapunt a Moroder synth loop. With the gear-list included, you know this is one purist who is all about his electro sounding like the way it was. But I cannot help think this becomes a contradiction in terms. Electro-pioneers were trying to sound futuristic—and they did. They succeeded because it was totally new gear, new music, new experimentation. There was no market nor industry nor history for this music. It was underground and desperate. But now when you grab all the same gear they had, and make the same kind of beats, it's self-referential feedback loop. This album has one saving grace within this electroclash revival bullshit: it doesn't sound nostalgic. Straight-up beats, makes your head ache after awhile, like good hard techno. Although the whole schmooze is tuned towards sex. I dunno. How much electro-sex can a human take?
the why does it sound like this
I mean, really? What's the drive to program electro that sounds like this? It's not as if hard techno producers are trying to imitate late-80s or early-90s Detroit techno (they did for awhile, especially the horde of Mills-clones, but thank le dieu that seems to be over). Techno went nowhere, it dead-ended in a tin can alley of empty Rubbermaid bins. So what of electro? Is a return to the sacred robotic origins what is precisely needed to machine a cyborg listening? For it's not about "progress," progress is bullshit, all the robots know that: models are mutations, clones of failure. Is the failure of electro its foundational retro-futurism that gives it the pause to remix and revitalize its cold inner circuitry at the point where, all things together, rave culture, jungle and electronic music has bent itself over to be fucked by the corporate dildo of Pop?
so we fuck pop up the ass
Indeed. Give it the return. Music whose futurism gave the corporate rip-off scammers all their juice has gone retro to its core. Feedback loop dialectics that blows the binary economic analysis off the heads of BMG. Which doesn't mean they just don't Hoover up any names that stick on the scene and perform the incorporation of musical capital. The bigwigs are all over this shit—but mainly the electroclash. The drier, dance-oriented, stark, existential robotocism, cyborgian mythologies, space-driven resistance mantras comprise an ethereal fuck-you too big to swallow for the corporate thieves.
Maybe this is where Alak Stark comes in—and I-F and Parallax Corporation (but that's another review).
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