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beefcake
coincidentia oppositorum
hymen   2000
  see also
"polycontrale contra punkte"
"spontaneous human combustion"
"in medias res"
"drei"
"003 + 024 + 2X = 727"
hymen website
official beefcake website

album rating: 4
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submitted by anton on 6-Jun-2000
it took me almost a week of listening to this cd to finally approach the moment when I could get my emotions somewhat organized and approach this review. I had so many mixed feelings about the album that surpassed and at the same time failed many of my expectations.

to begin with, this beefcake release came out completely unexpected; ever since I heard "polycontrale contra punkte", I was fascinated by the band and wanted to hear more, but almost no information could be found about any upcoming releases, up until couple of months before the actual release date.

one of the first things you notice after the first listen is incredible range of music - at times beefcake ventures out to cinematic landscapes almost completely abandoning the percussion, then it flows into gorgeous epic piano passages seamlessly evolving into crunchy, swirling, cut-up and incredibly intricate drum'n'bass percussion bouquets that speed up, unexpectedly collapse and fade out to be reborn in a form of minimal warm techno backed by beautiful piano and warm strings.

next big change is the overall "softness" of music, I expected more edgy, dark sound, but what I got instead is a fascinating work that is still incredibly complex and pushing experimental edges with its sound and composition, but at the same time is a lot more mellow than previous material that carried a strong industrial/technoid touch. most of the compositions are less emotional than before, but for me it has been replaced by the thrill of experiencing artists' imagination expressed in music form.

the album flows as a solid complete work taking further the concept of exquisite chamber music for the eclectic listener; it is impossible to draw the lines and define the genres the music belongs to. the boundaries have been completely dissolved, and the sound travels in between classic music, futuristic electronica and experimental explorations, once again leaving the listener completely speechless and unable to come up with comparisons, define styles. all there's left is music in its pure form, where styles and instruments ceased to matter becoming transparent tools in achieving perfect harmony.

all the tracks should be listened to in their intended order and the fact that none of them have names proves that it is indeed the intention. each track falls into its place if the listening order is preserved; seamless transitions from mechanized complexity on track 7 to rich mix of classic instruments on track 8 followed by stumbling loops and creaking beats in almost pan sonic or skam tradition smoothed out by dreamy collages of atonal jukebox melodies and mellow tones.

compared with previous material, intricate percussion passages became even more chaotic and spontaneous; hard breaks, caustic swirls, unexpected changes, sudden drops and abrasive pulses build an elaborate mosaic glued together with warm fluid strings or piano parts; but at the same time it all has been taken to a next level where multitude of experimental genres have been meshed together into an organic and very solid sound where everything seems to fit together perfectly without losing its experimental edge. changes and transitions between music styles are happening a lot more often, you never know what to expect next: whether the music will accelerate to a rough staccato or fade out to monochromatic string progression or gentle piano melody.

I am constantly amazed by the duo's creativity and ingenuity; with the variety of sounds used and moods suggested they manage to keep solid spirit throughout the whole album. this work might indeed appear too advanced and overloaded with experimentation to many purists locked up in their tight genre definitions, or it might be too shallow for those with short attention span and ears tuned too well to the conventional music, but for the ones that have an hour of undivided attention (this is definitely not something you listen to while working or doing something else), open mind and set of good headphones this will become an incredible experience, where every moment should be appreciated and remembered.

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