mmm.... well yes "Lip Switch" produced in 2000 from uber-techhead producer Richard Devine is one headrattling electronica album BUT,i LIKE it. its a fine example of where advanced computer programming +self-made electronica can go with enough will and talent. this cd is not for the casual coffee table beats fan -thats for sure. much like Aphex Twin or Alec Empire - it can grate, annoy but produce admiration +enjoyment in equal measure. the difference for me from say of the much-lauded Autechre (Ae), is that Devine on this release has a far keener sense of pulse + momentum than Ae. the complex beats (a kind of post-Photek beatsfest for the old minimal/techhead d+b heads out there) utilise far more advanced programming and boy does it show here. its almost math-electronica in its complexity BUT enjoyable in a head rinsing way. think of Autechre in a hurry and your partly there..
a fine example of where the near state-of ther art in IDM/dark electronica is/was in 2000. also - Try Lesser's "Gearhound" or "Mensa Dance Squad" , Autechre's "Draft 7.30", u-Ziq's ("Lunatic Harness","In Pine Effect" lps, Squarepusher's early lps or Aphex twin "Drukqs" for more busy IDM beats. you owe me a pint now..
This is dense, complex, dark music. Sound design features prominently, with a typical track containing a dizzying succession of countless unique sounds that never seem to repeat. The stream of sculpted sounds gleams, evolves and contorts, evoking the internal workings of mainframes, robotic servo mechanisms and alien technology, over fractured, pulsing backbeats. The compositions are vaguely organized into classical four-part structure, with themes surfacing occasionally through the matrix of interacting sounds: Devine is a classically trained pianist with an interest in more "academic" electronic composers such as Stockhausen, Morton Subotnik and Iannis Xennakis in addition to the usual suspects Coil, Meat Beat Manifesto, AFX, Autechre etc. Apparently produced using a 6-computer setup with a heavy use of custom designed software, Devines work is at the edge of what is currently possible: the music embodies the sound of processing power...There is a consistently dark undercurrent to the music and little warmth save the heat from the cpu core, but depth and texture that demands deeper listening. Along with the companion cut, "Aleamapper", recommended for IDM fans.
I bought this after hearing Kepter on the Warp website. 'Sounds odd' I thought. On the first listen, there were one or two tracks that leapt out, but the rest seemed to disappear. This is one EXTREMELY inaccessible CD. But of course, it hit me eventually. Just like Ae's recent Confield, this album takes an Ice Age to get into, but it is definitely worthwhile. There is even less immediate melody here than on Confield, which is saying something, which means you have to work even harder to get anything rewarding out of it, but when you do, you can't help but smile. Best listened to in the dark, on your own, with no disturbances or distractions, and preferably in a slightly bemused state of drunkeness, or any state that allows you to immerse yourself completely in the music. Stand-out track, for me, is still my favourite from the first listen, Swap,Trigger, an unhinged slice of sheer noise that manages to convince your brain that it is a tune. Which is a remarkable and highly praiseworthy trick, if you ask me.