Kitbuilders

Wake Up [Module Version]

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What distinguishes the "Module Version" of this album from the original version released in 2001 appears to be not much more than the addition of two remixes of the title track tacked onto the end of the program. Given a choice between the two, you might as well pick this one -- the remixes (both by Bolz Bolz) are lots of good, bleepy fun. But then, that's also true of the original mix and of just about every other track on this strange and mostly wonderful exercise in retro-chic electronica. The liner notes are unintentionally funny: "In the Kitbuilders cosmos you will also find Sparks in their Moroderphase, Chris and Cosey, Neu or Devo, although their music is no 80s retro stuff." (No, of course it isn't.) Imagine a cross between the cold martial beats of early Front 242 and the sweeter, if not warmer, sounds of Teutonic technopopsters Kraftwerk and Trio (with maybe a hint of the more anarchic Deutsche Amerikanische Freundschaft thrown in for a hint of spiciness). The lyrics are mostly inconsequential -- what matters here are the richly textured analog synthesizers, which are shown off to best effect on the very cool instrumental "Dropping," and to worst effect on a plodding one-chord disaster titled "Get Out." If your record shelf was ever home to albums by both Ministry and Human League, you'll get a big kick out of this one. Recommended.

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