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hands   2002
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album rating: 3

submitted by anton on 22-Jan-2003

those that have arrived to the noise genre through the rigid pathways of extremism eventually find themselves in artistic dead end, there is not much left to say in terms of emotions or new aesthetics once the limits have been reached. this is one of the reasons why I have held the duo of two mad scientists that is 5F_55 so close to my heart.

their second full-length album on hands is a fantastic trip to a different dimension, an altered reality, uncovering a wealth of hidden treasures buried in what at first sight seems to be just another rhythmic noise album.

imagine fritz lang's METROPOLIS in its gorgeous black and white original print; let a part of yourself become a center of this furious movement, a man-machine dance with all the vigor and romanticism of futurism. glorious unity, the steel and the muscles moving in unison (the rhythm does not dominate, it propels, pushes forward); bold impressionist contrasts (in the form of explosive bass-saturated breaks), fast cuts of montage (hissing outburst of steam, a muscular back, a grinding part of the engine, a striking hammer). the ultimate totalitarian triumph, the blinding light of the absolute that unites millions. meanwhile, a part of you that stayed in the present notices an increasing sense of absurd, an underlying feel of burlesque that quickly moves into the realm of endearingly naive sci-fi b-movies (this part is most obvious during 5F_55's live sets). and yet another level of consciousness notices the rising inhuman aggression, the mechanized self-sufficient purity, threatening to sweep you away.

much like the sci-fi classic itself, the album works on these contrasts - intensity of percussion and layers upon layers of stumbling, stuttering, jumping noises - a mouth-watering mess of tweaked, crumbling sound artifacts.

not that many musicians are able to creatively interpret the intensity of rhythmic noise genre, even fewer of them are able to do it on the level of 5F_55 in terms of production and complexity, and almost no one sets your imagination on this exhilarating path of discovery, remembrance and reinterpretation.

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