C2: CUBED
CD: Force Of Nature FON06 [2004]


Twenty
Multi
Cubed
Poly
C2
Access
Security Breach
Omni
Crowd Control
Rockstar
Whore

Based in New England, Peter Lee a.k.a. C2 has links to control.org, Force Of Nature Productions and Control Freak Studios; a man with fingers in several pies, it seems. Fittingly, he also displays a competent and occasionally striking command of several musical styles, as is evident just from the first few tracks on this new CD, the first proper (i.e. non-CDR, non-split) release for the C2 project. Opener 'Twenty' is oddly reminiscent of Two Golden Microphones/Rock'n'Roll Station-era Nurse With Wound, but with a more contemporary electronic flavour. 'Multi' dives into drum'n'bass, laying down a mid-tempo groove that is clanky and motoric while still achieving a certain upbeat perkiness. The title track injects a dose of stomping industrial techno, and then 'Poly' breaks things down into warm ambience and a sea of fragmented human voices before building up into something reminiscent of early nineties minimal trance, only sans fromage, with harder edges and more glitchery in the beats.

These first four tracks seem like something of an exposition; the diversity of the musical styles is tempered by the segues that join them together, an effect that would have seemed gimmicky if continued over the whole album, but which does reappear from time to time later on. I suspect that Lee is or has been a DJ, both from the mixes joining the tracks together, and the nice long beatmatch-friendly intros and outros on club-oriented numbers like 'Security Breach', a Converter-style pounder that splices 4/4 and 12/8 sections together. The occasional speech-synthesised "see-too" samples are a nice touch - you can't beat brand awareness! As far as dancefloor tracks go however, the hit for me has to be 'Crowd Control' - it's not the hardest or fastest here (that's 'Rockstar') but it has an appealingly simple, aggressively clipped rhythm that reeks of classic industrial bodymusic. Top marks for this one.

A few days ago, our esteemed editrix Jo and I were discussing the inadequacy of the term 'powernoise' over beer and pizza - it bears too many misleading connotations of 'power electronics' and traditional 'noise', we both agreed. Jo voted for 'rhythmic noise' in its place, whereas I suggested 'noisebeat' - to which she said, isn't that a bit... Disco? On reflection, yes it is, which is why I think there's a place for both terms in the notional encyclopaedia of electronic music. The distinction is illustrated perfectly by 'Crowd Control' and 'Rockstar'. The latter track reminds me of Mono No Aware, MS Gentur, Winterkalte and co. - layers of grinding metallic sounds beaten into an unrelenting rhythm that the brave or foolhardy might attempt to dance spastically to. The former has overtones of club culture and videogame chic, "lift up your hearts" and "you don't have to be poor any more", only fed through the decimators and the bitcrushers for a 21st-century Cubase VST gloss. Paramilitary disco music - and why not?

ABC

[C2] / [Force Of Nature]

Direct Link: http://www.auralpressure.com/review/c/c2_cubed.html