Motor

Unhuman

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AllMusic Review by

Motor's second album kicks off with a perfect brutalist bang -- "Bleep #1" is such a perfect archetype of the electronic body music aesthetic of crisp-as-hell beats, nagging synth parts and four-to-the-floor groove it should be patented. From there Unhuman lives up to its title excellently. This is the antithesis of whatever is being called "honest unplugged roots music" or its equivalent these days, and good thing too. The irony of course is that Motor, like Tiefschwarz and Black Strobe among others, is making its own kind of roots music, celebrating the on-the-nose dance beat perfection of acts like D.A.F., Front 242 and many others besides. (The verse breaks on "Night Drive" are pure Depeche Mode circa 1986 and brilliantly so, to the point it seems downright surprising not to hear David Gahan's voice.) Like its compatriots, though, Motor hears it through the lens of '90s rave and its after-effects; if anything the not so secret source of Unhuman is Daft Punk circa the underrated Human After All. Calling a song "Drug Punk" is almost a giveaway, but even more so is the title track, with a distorted voice intoning the word not much differently than was done on Human After All's own title track. Sharp, energetic and definitely thrilling, Unhuman shows that Motor has beat the sophomore slump in fine fashion.

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