Meat Beat Manifesto

Meat Beat Manifesto



For anyone versed in industrial experimentation, modern breaks or pioneering electronica, Meat Beat Manifesto needs little by way of introduction. For everyone else, the bite-size biography is this: Jack Dangers, a.k.a. MBM, has spent over a decade pushing the envelope when it comes to breakbeats, making his mark not only with his sample-laden original productions but also through the resculpting of Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails and David Bowie tracks. R.U.O.K? is the first full-length outing for Dangers since 1998’s Actual Sounds + Voices, and his seventh album release.

Minimalism is the name of the game here; a conscious decision for Dangers, who says he cut back on the use of rhythm samples considerably for this record. Uncluttered beats sit alongside synth bleeps, instrumental snippets and spoken word samples, gently wrapped up in eerie production. There’s a detachment, a coldness, to the processing and mixing on R.U.O.K? that makes listening to it feel a little disconcerting. The precision with which the music unfolds gives it a sense of purpose, though — the admirable technical details possess a distinctly mathematical quality.

Despite the “back to basics” ethos, Dangers doesn’t inject very much humanism into R.U.O.K? at all. I suspect this was intentional, although moments of greater emotional color might have turned what is an exemplary post-breaks exploration by a master into something brilliant.

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