Music Reviews

Magnetophone

I Guess Sometimes I Need to Be Reminded of How Much You Love Me

4AD

For me, one of the few motivational aspects of life is finding clever juxtaposition. Musically, this is harder to accomplish then in, say, a combine painting by Robert Rauschenberg or jump cuts in a Jean Luc Godard film. Hip-hop entrepreneurs like Russell Simmons understand this, but this is lost on many rappers and DJs who program music.

Magnetophone has created action paintings on their brilliant debut CD. The drum n’ bass goes from sparse to drilling without a questioning of the approach. The drum samples are so erudite, so provocative, that you hope the car companies use these songs instead of that Moby crap. With few exceptions, 4AD has released some of the most sonically innovative bands, be it Pale Saints or Pixies. Magnetophone aren’t afraid to shimmer you ala Slowdive shoegaze, or employ warm keyboards and distorted everything on tracks like “Air Methods.” The drum arrangement, with a foundation in precise flux between the crisp and lo-fi are the best since Squarepusher’s “Big Loada” or Uziq’s “Lunatic Harness.”

What separates this album from the overwhelming whirlpool of electronic obscurity is its focus. Although each track stands independent of the next, the rare and special glue of emotion and honesty lets this debut breathe with the listener, and is as mortal as the world it exists in. The duo that are Magnetophone must have had some frantic Kraut rock that kept them up at night, some shoegaze that warmed their souls, and the integrity and dedication to sound. Spare yourself the tribulation: buy this.


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