Perfect Worlds

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Cassiber's second album moves one step ahead in the refinement of the group's music. From Man or Monkey, the trio (Christoph Anders, Chris Cutler, and Heiner Goebbels; Alfred 23 Harth had bid farewell) retained clashes of noise, a taste for cheap synthesizers, and Anders' declamatory style. But this time the music is much more organized and arranged. Songs are short and focus on atmospheres and the alienating settings of Cutler's words. More political than before, they take their cue from the previous album's "Our Colourful Culture," or so it seems. They have for subject war, the oppressed, and those who speculate on misery. "Crusoe's Landing" uses an excerpt from Daniel Defoe's novel, a well-chosen page which, put in the context of this album, says a lot about human nature. Although structured, the music only occasionally takes the form of song. The opener "Dust and Ashes" stands as a rare Rock in Opposition outburst ("Orphee's Mirror" provides another). Highlights include "Miracolo" ("Where meat is better/Treated than/The poor who/Can't afford to/Eat it"); Anders' cry, "I ache," in "Prometheus"; and the haunting, sampler-led "Orphee's Mirror." Perfect Worlds is short -- only 33 minutes in duration -- but it wastes not a second and offers new things to discover in its depths with each listen.

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