Top positive review
One person found this helpful
Two intelligences beat one by far
on 16 February 2010
This impressive 2-disc compilation showcases some of the most cutting edge examples of electronic listening music in the early 1990s. All contributions are of a high standard and the music still sounds fresh and innovative in 2010. Polygon Window by The Dice Man opens the first disc on an undulating, mid-tempo beat, followed by a series of sonic gems like Musicology's Telephone 529 with its spacey voice samples, the rhythmically complex Crystel by Autechre and The Clan, a semi-symphonic soundscape by I.A.O.
Some of these artists were no doubt influenced by the German pioneers like Tangerine Dream but they've evolved beyond those structures to create something quite unique. Multiple layers endow certain pieces with a profoundly cinematic quality, e. g. Spiritual High by UP! which has a trance-like texture in which different types of vocals alternate. Musicology's Preminition, on the other hand, has R&B type female vocals throughout.
On the second disc my favorites include Link's percussive Arcadian, B12's solemn Scriptures, Autechre's quirky Chatter, Beaumont Hannant's bubbling & percolating Utuba, former Cabaret Voltaire member Richard H Kirk's plinking, plonking & lilting Reality Net and Seefeel's chiming & echoing Spangle which reminds me somewhat of Popol Vuh's majestic Nosferatu. In my opinion Disc 2 offers more variety and contains more memorable pieces.
These artists created striking, varied and sometimes sublime sonic sculptures. With their strangely compelling patterns and arrangements, the sounds are anything but clinical. Often applied like instruments, human voices are sparingly employed on many of the pieces. Owing to the stylistic variety I enjoy listening to this compilation in one go, something I would rarely attempt in this genre with an album by one artist. Artificial Intelligence ought to appeal to a wide spectrum of electronic music lovers - from the fans of intelligent techno to the followers of the classical avant garde.