Artist Unknown


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While dance music experienced an unprecedented electro revival at the turn of the millennium, most acts -- Adult, Fischerspooner, Chicks on Speed -- infused their pop-locking beats with an '80s post-punk new wave song dynamic, almost as a reaction to the strictly mechanical techno music of these artists past. Artist Unknown, however, goes in the opposite direction, making music so completely devoid of human emotion that Gary Numan would go green with envy. So impersonal is this duo that they have never revealed their names or anything about themselves. Or even made an appearance or photo without being concealed in clinical white mask and sunglasses. Invisible men indeed. So calculating is this pair that on "Masheen," they feel the need to feed those pillars of pop, the Beatles, into their black boxes, spitting out a polygonic vocal on the other end, "We look at you all/late at night/while you're sleeping/While my machine gently tweeks." The rest of the album is almost as chilling, lurking through overlit corridors, the master computer watching your every move. This isn't dance music. This is full-on paranoia. Do you know what your Mac is doing when you aren't looking?

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