Released in 2004, Touch -- Michael Mayer's first production album -- was pieced together, closer to a compilation than a single statement. Portions of it were rushed. Mantasy, made during the course of seven months, is more unified and reflects the Kompakt leader's infatuation with a broad range of film music. After the twinkling melancholia of "Sully," the album makes like the early portion of a Mayer DJ set, with alternately clumpy and jumpy rhythms -- inhibited yet somewhat cartoonish -- fostering a sense of anticipation. "Mantasy" itself, stern and chugging yet spacious, comes off like a Moroder-ik version of his 2003 single "Privat." Although it starts with the kind of chipper mallet work made for television-style "breaking news flashes," "Voigt Kampff Test" is comparatively brute, anchored in deep, rippling bass worthy of an acid house monster. Most surprising is "Rudi Was a Punk," named after Mayer's uncle; while there's some electric guitar in the mix, the track gambols along with yet more mallet work along with baritone sax-like blurts that could have been swiped from a Morphine record. At the other end, the track that is closest to straightforward is the closing "Good Times," a house throwback with clicking synthetic percussion, rolling piano, and disco strings. The only cut with a vocal -- WhoMadeWho's Jeppe Kjellberg does the simple/effective honors -- it breaks the album's somewhat isolated feel, but then some of the most memorable soundtracks are all instrumental and contemplative, save for that one big song with a vocal. Going into this with no expectations should prove to be beneficial.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman