Expansion Union

Expansion Union

World Wide Funk

Wax Trax!/TVT

With James Bernard’s fine pedigree, one would think that this would be a fine album. Albums on Rephlex and the late Side Effects showed an innovative and creative musician. However, perhaps popularity from his appearance on the Blade movie soundtrack, and the signing to a major label has gone to his head. Maybe it is the addition of DJ Displacer. Whatever it may be, this is a weak collection of gimmicky tracks. It seems as if the artists got their hands on a few classic electro albums and said, “Hey, with our advance we can buy all sorts of old synths and drumboxes!” Whatever the case may have been, all of the flava of electro has been cast aside for weak scratching and boring beats. Some discretion could have been used to cut away a lot of the fat from this album. Bernard and Displacer have a penchant for mucking about with their synths; they noodle away without going anywhere. Even Sir Menelik’s rapping cannot haul this album from the boggy marsh of tedium it seems to have fallen into. The album finally catches its stride with the track “Psionic” by throwing away all of the gimmicks and making a tight, funky stomper, but by then it’s too late. If you liked the Blade soundtrack, by all means pick this up. You’ll be guaranteed all filler and very little killer.

TVT Records, 23 East 4th St., Third Floor, New York, NY 10003; http:www.tvtrecords.com

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