Erotic Terrorism

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By the time Fun-Da-Mental reappeared with a second album proper, things were surprisingly different for Nawaz and company. Instead of Public Enemy, the touchstones were the Chemical Brothers and the Prodigy, aiming for a largely instrumental industrial/metal/hip-hop/techno sound that's not always as distinct or unique as the Seize the Time mélange. Perhaps the goal was to aim at a different audience, but it's not quite the result perhaps was intended. That said, everyone's still righteously pissed off, though music rather than the often-distorted vocals really is Erotic Terrorism's focus, and when the beats get really frenetic or creative, as on the blunt charge of "Demonised Soul" or the echoed rage and rave of "Furious," it's a treat. Nawaz seems to be a one-man band throughout, with only a bassist and banjo player otherwise credited, though he again works with Graeme Pickering as engineer. Various samples of Indian music again appear with regularity throughout Erotic Terrorism, but equally prominent are huge slabs of feedback and massive drumming and percussion loops. Where chanting and tablas have more of the focus, as on the soaring, inspirational stomp of "Ja Sha Taan," there's still a rough, low electronic undercurrent. Given Nawaz's own rock drumming background via groups like the Southern Death Cult, it's not too surprising to hear in context, just a bit of a jarring leap. Nawaz and Pickering actually do show a greater sense of drama and dynamics than before -- sudden cuts between loud and soft passages create some effective moments throughout, while the grunts and children's cries on "Blood in Transit" are disturbing. Above all else, there's the overriding message of the fight against bigotry and oppression -- as the horribly tasteless and racist old song that's sampled to start things off makes all too clear.

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