epic double CD from French electroheads Milligramme
is the closest modern
electronica gets to a concept album. Packaged like a drug, it would sit
happily on the pharmacist's shelf next to Foetus' Manorexia
"Volvox TURBO" side-project, complete with a comprehensive
list of adverse events, notes regarding length of treatment, batch numbers,
license numbers and the heartwarming instruction: "EXCEED THE PRESCRIBED
20 original tracks here, and four remixes, all named (more or less) after
features of human anatomy, and I don't think there's a bad tune amongst
them. Disc one kicks off with the brash hip-hop assault of 'larynx'
and 'tympans', which would not sound out of place on the roster
of Parisian hardcore stable Cavage
alongside such Gallic luminaries as Saoulaterre and DX Media. The tone
is set for the disc as a whole; we are led through filter sweep after
drum break of hardened funk, dirty instrumental trip-hop and arrogant
techno, all delivered with operating-theatre precision. I defy the most
restrained critic to sit through the car-crash scratch-and-squeal big
beat of 'vocal chords' without wanting to jump around like a
loon in baggy trousers and a baseball cap.
Disc (dose?) two is more laid-back on average, from the lilting Orbital
chillout of 'tongue' to the Autechre-inspired 'rein'
[kidney]. This is not to say that disc two is lacking in gonads, however;
'trachea' also evokes Sheffield's finest glitchmongers but outdoes
them in terms of raw beat power, the blistering 'artery' reminds
me of Dave Clarke but with added post-electroclash bounce, and 'transit'
carves out a groove reminiscent of early Chemical Brothers or even a more
intelligent Prodigy. Haiku and Milligramme themselves finish off the disc
with remixes of 'stomach' and 'intestines', neither
of which are on the album in their original formulations.