Music Reviews

The Bionaut

Lubricate Your Living-Room


What is it, exactly, with techno musicians and their names? How did trying to find the new release by an artist get to be such a hide-and-seek game? Everyone else in every industry tries to build up a brand name, and techno people try to hide behind a raft of pseudonyms. Hmmm. Whatever. Who cares.

So I guess we’re supposed to say, “Oh! At long last, someone has released a compilation of all those CD and EP tracks Jorg Burger, who is also known as burger/ink, Trinkwasser, The Modernist, and Geometric Farms, put out under the name of ‘The Bionaut’ between 1993 and 1997! Hooray!” Okay, maybe we’re not supposed to say it just like that. But it’s hard to think what kind of mass appeal Herr Burger’s ever going to have with six different names here in the States. Someone should have a talk with him.

While that someone is at it, go ahead and tell Burger that Lubricate Your Living-Room is a very nice sort of disc, indeed. It’s filled with pleasant downtempo soundscapes that wouldn’t hurt a fly and sound pretty nice when you’re fixing the kids’ lunches in the morning. There’s nothing insistent or driving about tracks like “The Juicy Reminder” or “Wild Horse Annie,” no stunning breakbeats pop up in “Student Bashing at the Seaside” to illustrate what student-bashing at the seaside might actually sound like, and no one will ever get offended by the title track or “Bluebelle (The Birth of a Bionaut).”

Sure, a couple of tracks actually have a kind of minimalist tension: “Electric Campfire (In a Neo-Ackerman Style)” contains a hilarious monologue by a guy describing romance-porn sex scenes, and “P. Bateman” seems to want to recall American Psycho’s main character with its ever-so-slightly dischords. But overall, this is a really good-sounding but mostly bland sort of thing that no amount of false names can turn into something important. I’ll keep it around, because it sounds nice, but it’ll never change my life.

Matador Reccords:

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