The Bionaut

Lubricate Your Living-Room

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LUBRICATE YOUR LIVING ROOM marks the U.S. debut of Jorg Burger, a.k.a. the Bionaut, the German electronica artist whose albums were previously available only as imports. A compilation of recordings made between 1993 and 1997, LUBRICATE offers a slice of Burger's special mix of deep beats and abstract swaths of sound. The opening amniotic pulse of "Electric Campfire" sets the record's tone: a mid-tempo groove colored with percussive textures and washes of synthesizer; a sound that evokes the sensation of swimming inside a giant aquarium, haunted by the sound of your own heart.

While Burger occasionally ups the bpm's in the manner of traditional techno, his tasteful sense of composition and atmosphere align him more with electronica pioneers like Aphex Twin and Mouse On Mars than your standard clubby DJ. Elsewhere, the clear influence of minimalist composers such as Steve Reich and Phillip Glass (note the marimba-flavored melody on "P. Bateman") lend a sophisticated edge to the pieces. But whether churning out insistent, danceable beats or creating ambient, aural journeys, Berger manages to unify these works with his progressive sound-pastiche sensibility. It is this sensibility, and the superior production, that, especially if played on a good stereo, make good on the album's title.

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