Designed Memories

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Something of a chance for Meyer to indulge an eighties electro-dance side to his personality, with the help of one Thorsten Meier on further songwriting and performance, Cleen at the very least has, indeed, a clean and moody style to show. Designed Memories isn't really a debut album per se, collecting as it does two separate versions each of "Believe" and "For All of Us," plus other tracks, alternate takes and so forth for a total of eight cuts. As a compilation showing where and how Meyer wants to indulge himself, though, it's more than adequate at worst and very good listening indeed at best. "Believe," the mighty fine opening cut, pitches itself somewhere between early EBM a la Front 242 circa "Masterhit" and, unsurprisingly, the sound of Haujobb. The staccato, rough keyboard lines that crop up in the mix are offset by soft electronic chimes and tones, while the vocals combine the robotic feel one would expect with just a hint of tenderness. The edit of "Believe" later on the disc adds little, being but a shortened version of the same mix. "Freezeout," meanwhile, aims straight for the heart of the dancefloor thanks to the pummeling beat and techno pulse of the music, while the processed orchestral stabs and shadings add just the right shade of beautiful darkness to the affair. Mention should also be made of what sounds like a sample of Bart Simpson in the mix! "For All of Us" is a touch more restrained but mixes the same sense of driving beat and soothing melancholia, the coolly whispered/sung delivery heightening the experience. The disc is filled out by a lengthy instrumental version of "Smoking Enemy?," with a reasonable atmosphere to the whole thing, a demo take on "Did You Forget" and a brief 'outro' of the track "Shadowbox."

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