CDr: Mechanoise Labs mn017 [2003]

Pretending to be Numb
Les Mouches dan mes Rêves
No Exit

'Angstlich' begins with a high-pitched, fluctuating electronic sample over underlying drones. Electronic samples wash in and out bringing ambience. Male voice samples, distorted and percussive are taken over by deeper, distorted electronics coming in then fluctuating. 'Pretending to be Numb' is a fantastic track. Tick-tock percussion fluctuates. A really beautiful, haunting female voice with a slight echo speaks "...for a long time you won't feel anything..." An underlying drone appears then some distorted electronic samples and guitars over. This track is quite dense yet delicate and sensual. Towards the end it builds up and male voice joins, ending with the solo female voice.

This is where it seems to fall apart. 'Hush' begins with dark drones, making for a clouded, haunting tune; metallic and barely audible percussion is welcomed. Then for some reason strings are added to the mix making a hectic, fumbling statement lying beneath. Upbeat metallic drums find their way in. Towards the middle of the track the whole thing becomes like a relatively normal pop song. Louder drones wash over then electronics and echoed voices bring it to a close. 'Hush' goes on for much longer than I would have wished. This album just gets stranger. 'Les Mouches dan mes Rêves' storms in with dub percussion, drones and rhythms featuring a xylophone!? A very peculiar mix indeed. Quite funky and sounds a bit off to be honest. The percussion becomes a bit all over the place. It's all becoming really repetitive then a beautiful ambient piece reveals itself. This drags an already too long track out for another 7 minutes. This, to me, should have been a song in its own right rather than being tagged onto the first 7 minutes of the song. We then have 23 seconds of clicks, glitches and voices: I'm not sure if this counts as a track or not...and then back to the good stuff with 'No Exit'. Ambient drones take precident here. Some samples appear for a few seconds, along with some static interference lying under. A beautiful, dreamy track emerges with very light, repetitive percussion. The crackling of a stuck record moves over top. Different electronic loops, washes, drones, synths and samples take over one another. This track has more finesse than most of the other tracks...and even at 14 minutes the ever-so-gentle fade was very timely and a great ending.

A mixed bag of sorts. This would be an outstanding album if it wasn't for the moments of funk/pop in the middle.


[Aidan Baker] / [Mechanoise Labs]

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Aidan Baker [Same River Twice]