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Mixed bag of throw-back electro,
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This review is from: Intersteller Fugitives 2 (Underground Resistance) [2cd+DVD] (Audio CD)
Rather than be an ultra-modernist, uncompromising collection of sound experiments in the name of the Underground Resistance umbrella group, as the title might suggest, this collection sees the collective trying to charm and seduce the listener rather than soundtrack a teeth-grinding session.
No pummeling techno here, no DIY-dirtiness or teeth-gnashing, in-the-red waveform punishment a la the collective's early 90s days. Mad Mike's brief for the work here appears to be to distance UR from their original blueprint of Millsian brutality and instead revisit the style's 80s electro roots.
Disc 1 is closest to a manifesto, spoken-word futurism and and a bubbling electro that never opens up to full-throttled techno-aggression and, instead, sticks closer to the hi-tech jazz tag of the collective's first album. Fine, a little bland, but well made.
Disc 2's debt is split two ways: originators like Kraftwerk and Cybotron (principally on Geiger Counter) are referenced while many titles hint at an over-arching concept in the same way Drexciya told a story through titles and artwork, suggesting that the album-length parents of these shards could well be in the progressive zone.
Maybe it's the old 'Conform to Deform' trick in play, but much of this appears a little too safe and as if the artists are pleased at being tuneful, even if that is at the expense of raw power, edginess and (sadly) relevance. I may find myself putting this on when I want some techno that won't freak out other people in the room (Jeff Mills and X10 were surprisingly punk rock in their ability to incite instant revulsion and shock) but is still a cut above the dreary-drift of Moby's coffee table sonic hugs.