For his first proper artist album (meaning it was recorded as such, instead of simply compiling already recorded and released tracks), Marco Carola digs deep into his musical history to assemble a release that steadily builds from the mellow tones of Detroit techno to the harder German dancefloor style for which he is known. At first, this is worrisome, as the opener, "Highview," is completely derivative of early Detroit, while "Introspective"'s harrowing synth tones are more than a little reminiscent of Plastikman. But once you stop looking for the new sound and accept Open System for the archetype techno album that it is, then you can begin to enjoy the neo-electro bass drops and snare pops of "Open System" and the dubby Basic Channel push-pull of "Get Down" before Carola finally gets to business with the techno stormers he is famous for, including "Body Dancer" and "Effective." Though not at all original, there is also not a loser track on the album. So while Carola doesn't seem to pay heed to techno's alleged forward-looking doctrine, at least he has assembled the best parts of the genre into one entirely listenable whole. And that sometimes can be far more satisfying than pushing boundaries for the mere sake of it.
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AllMusic Review by Joshua Glazer