Meat Beat Manifesto

Meat Beat Manifesto

Meat Beat Manifesto

Impossible Star

Virtual Label

Melody and rhythm and tunes you can dance to are fine, but we also need music that makes you think and maybe argue about it over a clove ciggy and a craft brew. Meat Beat Manifesto makes a great topic; they came out of quaint Swindon, UK in the post-punk days and embarked on a journey through electronic music of all sorts. This collection of over a dozen songs appears to me to be what jazz ought to be in this post-electronic age. There are melodies here, but complex ones that don’t click at first listen. The beat is electronic and dry; a drum machine programed in C++ likely lies at its heart. Echoes and reverb deepen the sound, making it warmer, keeping it approachable yet formal. Tracks don’t often tie to their titles: “Lurker” offers an electronic jungle beat; it’s almost Arthur Lyman transposed to the 21st century. Opener “ONE” starts out so low key you almost don’t think there’s sound there. But there is, is a slowly glowing electronic Theremin throb from a cheap 1950’s Sci-Fi. “Unique Boutique” again starts with a single phrase of voice, then heads off into the smoke machine, leaving us wishing to window shop in a mall where all the shops are empty. Vocals are doled out with a medicine dropper, and the whole experience of listing to “Impossible Star” needs a post-show discussion to complete the experience.

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