Charles Manier

Bang Bang Lover

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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman

Where "Change You," Charles Manier's contribution to Ghostly International's Tangent 2002: Disco Nouveau, craftily welded the Italo-disco bump of Klein + M.B.O.'s "Dirty Talk" to the dubbed-out dementia of an Arthur Russell dancefloor production, the Bang Bang Lover 12" resorts to a template of the electro-terrorist favorites of yore: Suicide, D.A.F., Front 242, Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, the Normal, Laid Back, etc. Mssr. Manier souffl├ęs them all together and sweetens the deal with his deadpan sense of humor, speaking/mummering as three distinctly different characters. First, there's the comically indecipherable grunt-growl of "Alan Vega Man"; second, there's the warped-beyond-decipherability of a power-mad cyborg/mutant; and finally, there's the relatively decipherable chatter from what sounds like a white suburban male who can't leave his residence for some reason (this person says a lot of things but exactly what else remains unclear after the umpteenth listen). This trio of precise productions zap, snap, and singe, easily earning the cattle prod comparisons associated with far less confrontational electro. How Manier is able to mine all of his sources (from the fields of electro, industrial, and electronic body music), inject them with an affectionately irreverent sense of humor, and not come across as the least bit derivative -- or stuck in a bygone time frame -- is a wonder to behold. How Manier is able to sound so restrained while dishing out so many sounds from so many angles is another matter. In need of a jolt? This should do the trick.

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