Tadd Mullinix debuted his Charles Manier alias in 2002 with highlight contributions to Ghostly International and Ersatz Audio compilations, as well as an EP for the former label. The battering three-track 12" Bang Bang Lover sharply contrasted with Tangent 2002: Disco Nouveau's "Change You," a buoyant slice of dubbed-out Italo disco. Alternatively, it drew from more experimental and menacing forms of danceable '70s/'80s electronic music: Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, and Liaisons Dangereuses, among a legion of others. As Mullinix concentrated on imaginative hip-hop (as Dabrye) and raw left-field house (as James T. Cotton), Manier was on ice -- at least in a public sense. From 2002 through 2012, Mullinix recorded the material that makes up this vinyl-only double album, released in 2013 through Melvin "Traxx" Oliphant's Nation label. In a vein similar to that of Bang Bang Lover, these lean yet intensely physical tracks largely threaten, dart, and probe. "Who Raised These People?" and "Waiting for Electrocution," both with misshapen vocal outbursts ("They should be ashamed -- ugh!"), pack foreboding sonics as well as humor, while the bounding "Czech Mississippi" seems to stifle something that approaches the melodicism of Virgin-era Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft. These tracks, as well as most of the others, are succinct and sharp. "A/B Infect," the exception, occupies the entirety of side three with bluntly lancing synthesizer lines and what resembles a mechanical death howl. The album's centerpiece and high point, it's akin to a drastic, epic-length instrumental remix of the Human League's "The Black Hit of Space." Those who want to hear more of the artists who inspired this aspect of Mullinix's output should seek Metal Dance and Metal Dance 2, compilations assembled by Trevor Jackson for the Strut label. Those are the most accessible introductions to a form kept alive and wriggling by the varied likes of Mullinix, Hieroglyphic Being, Factory Floor, and Golden Teacher.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman