VARIOUS ARTISTS: SONIC VISIONS
CD: Geska GSK030C102 [2003]


Westerndream: Permutations on Toth-Pot
Westerndream: Fanatika (Avodah Zarah Remix)
Mimetic Fake: Feeling Lies
Firnwald: Liebeswegen (Dead & Rotten Mix by Photophob)
Milligramme: Foie
Mlada Fronta: Hf >amalgam<
Oil 10: Happy Mondays (Megatron Mix)
Pedro Alexandre: Shiny_Pink_Towels (Beauty Mix)
Flint Glass: Neuroscan / Sonic Mix
HIV+ vs Wired Brain: Havoc 2027 (Exclusive Mix)
Haiku: IMOLA

Bonus multimedia: Sonic Visions II

At the moment I am re-reading Umberto Eco's playful Cabbalistic whodunnit Foucault's Pendulum, so the somewhat late arrival of this Geska Records anthology from 2003, complete with cybernetic Tree of Life on the cover, seemed highly appropriate - or you might say, synchronistic. Each of the ten tracks is mapped to one of the Sefirot, and eventually I'd like to sit down with my Hebrew dictionary and work out which is which; bridging the abyss, Da'ath glows dimly in the upper centre of the cover, and perhaps corresponds to the bonus multimedia track that I haven't watched yet. But I digress.

Even though this was intended as slightly more of a dancefloor compilation than some of Geska's more recent releases, it is far from being four-to-the-floor territory throughout, although Westerndream's storming trance opener sets the pace in a style akin to Juno Reactor, and later on Mlada Fronta crop up sounding much more like Underworld than usual. Mimetic and Firnwald hit a more laid-back yet somewhat creepy groove, of the kind beloved by between-band DJs at industrial gigs, and Milligramme bring to the table their trademark combination of clangy electro and anatomical nomenclature. Oil 10's contribution, named inexplicably after the Happy Mondays, sounds like proper electronic body music, and while the Wired Brain reworking of HIV+'s 'Havoc 2027' isn't the best version I've heard, it does add a suitably apocalyptic slant. The tracks ordering, always a black art, works very well, with everything flowing nicely towards the lush ambience of Haiku's final moments.

The only let-down is Pedro Alexandre's soulless and formulaic techno which is completely outclassed by the intensity of the Flint Glass number after it. Apart from that, all the tracks here come highly recommended. Despite its spiritual pretensions, this is a much more visceral kind of offering than most of the CDs I've received recently, and for that I'm actually glad. It's important to remember that the roots of much of the intellectualised electronica we hold dear lie originally on the dancefloor. And it's peppered with recognisable yet hard-to-place movie quotes, which always adds an extra dimension of nerdy fun to an album - although there are also loads from Fight Club, hardly the most hermetic source of knowledge. Not sure whether this is coincidence or editorial diktat, but I'd have gone for Pi personally.

ABC

[Geska]

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