Motor

Klunk

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Klunk is the debut album from Motor, a transoceanic collaborative effort on the part of Minnesotan producer Bryan Black and Parisian drummer Mr. No. The duo has recorded and remixed before under the name Xlover; as Motor, they channel the sounds of 1980s industrial, EBM, and synth pop, at times sounding like the unholy spawn of Front 242 and Erasure. And yes, that's a compliment. Vocals are sparse and not generally noteworthy; there isn't too much singing as such. "Yak" features a processed voice grunting "Hey man, have you got any gak?," and "1 X 1" (on which Nitzer Ebb alumnus Douglas McCarthy makes a surprise guest appearance) is similarly rudimentary in the lyrics department. But instrumentally, the album is pretty compelling: even as it draws heavily on house and industrial formulas, it adds an extra layer of glitchy postmodernism that keeps things from getting heavy-handed or tedious. Note in particular how well they create a richly funky stew out of minimal ingredients on "MDXT-A" and "King of USA," the latter of which actually explores some really interesting polyrhythmic territory toward the end (they do something similar on "Spazm," which plays extensively with three-against-two rhythms). The abstract and arrhythmic "En Trans" ends things with more of a whimper than a bang, but up until then the program rocks along nicely, exploring a variety of electro-techno-industrial sounds.

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