"We are not German, no offense!" says the distorted, slowed voice on "Feedback Loop," and it's a knowing nod from the French-based duo Motor toward the perceived sonic identification of one country with harder-edged techno styles and the other with lusher filter disco sonics. But Motor are, if anything, anti-lush, and their 2010 release Hyper Machine -- if not as consistently strong a listen as their previous album, Unhuman -- shows that their abilities with a modern take on electronic body music and industrial/dance moves remain strong. Kicking off with the appropriately named title track -- given how quickly the tones and synths play, it almost sounds like they're skipping CDs -- the two admittedly can't fully escape the shadow of other contemporary Gallic duos. The guitar hooks on "Kick It" suggest the work of Justice perhaps a little too clearly, while calling not one but two songs after classic video games -- "Pong" and, perhaps a little more indirectly, "Break Out" -- really does seem like something Daft Punk would end up doing (if they weren't already working on the Tron sequel). But the crazy "malfunctioning computer" voice on "Pong" is its own bit of flair, while the reworking of classic techno riffs and a hint of schaffel's rolling punch on "Bite the Bullet" let Motor again find their own voice as they go, even if Hyper Machine is ultimately best heard in bursts rather than as a whole.
Hyper Machine Review
by Ned Raggett