The 15 songs on The Art of Travel blend together well, forming a mostly instrumental album characterized by percussive rhythms, alien-sounding melodies and a desire to experiment. Some of the songs exist only as short, poetic sound sketches (usually lasting under two minutes), while others prove epic, surpassing the five-minute mark. Two versions of "City Lights" -- including a remix by John Tejada -- stand out as the highlights of the diverse album. The structural crafting of the songs themselves is best characterized with comparisons to Juan Atkins' techno and the music released by the German label Basic Channel. The rhythms remain symmetric and are looped over one another with continual variations to avoid monotony. Yet the slight monotony of these rhythms focuses the mind of the listener more onto the texture than the actions of the sounds. The odd sounds comprising the beats and infectious rhythms can also best be understood with a comparison to experimental artists such as Aphex Twin and Low Res. Though Mannequin Lung focuses much more on percussive rhythms than these artists, they share a tendency to use non-traditional sounds created with computer technology instead of the somewhat clichéd sounds of the Roland 909, 808, and 303 drum machines characterizing most techno and house.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier