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non-linear interfacing
dta records   2002
  see also
dta records website
scrap.edx website

album rating: 3

submitted by anton on 26-Apr-2002

it is hard to describe this release in just a few words, or get a consistent impression after just a listen or two. on one hand there are a few truly outstanding tracks that include title track that is strangely reminiscent of gridlock's "synthetic form", incredibly catchy broken drum&bass of "autotransformer" with aggression and melody blending together perfectly, twitchy stuttering idm-like textures of opening "illusive" with almost gabber-like punches, or angular and deliciously broken technoid noise of "mental genocide" with its nice melodic lines contrasted by blasts of static. all of the above are so impressive because they break apart the monotony of typical rhythm'n'noise or dark ambient and create heavily layered, complex, non-linear arrangements. this is something that gridlock used to do back in the day, or something that tarmvred is doing these days, but scrap.edx does manages to do it differently, adding a lot more variety and unexpected turns, delays, contrasts, in a sense using idm techniques and applying them in a new way to a completely different genre.

unfortunately the rest of the album is quite weak, falling far behind those outstanding pieces. it sort of drags on and on with a few bleak rhythmic tracks and a few ambient interludes. they all have a number of good spots here and there (once again coming from unexpected rhythmic drops and compressed percussion explosions), but they simply seem too artificial, too disjointed.

bonus 3" offers yet another side of this project, sort of minimal quiet textures with glitchy, unusual sounds, drawn-out strings and at times almost organic feel. "phase-lock" has a few nice parts with muffled soft percussion and waves and waves of quiet textures, venturing somewhere in the realm of more technoid dark ambient. following "isothermo atmosphere" is considerably darker and closer to the world of industrial with vibrating bassline, distant ominous overtones, processed static bursts, contrasted by fragile acoustic and analog elements. those two tracks almost seem like another project, intriguing and quite good, especially considering the atmosphere they build up in 20 minutes; too bad they lack a solid connection with the material on the album.

I would love to see this album reduced to best-of size, with emphasized single feel; this aggressive selectiveness on the part of the label would only benefit the band, focusing on its most successful aspects. unfortunately you have to make this selection work yourself, but a few impressive tracks on this release are definitely worth it.

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