Various Artists

Slow Death in the Metronome Factory

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This is a wild and rewarding compilation of thirteen different studio visions. Wallstar (UK) puts together the wild flute style of "Spill the Wine" with a ragged percussion beat and jazzy bass in "Carnival of Souls." Wallstar melds so completely into Pram(UK) as to sound like an extended second half to the same song. Critters is the remnants of New Bohemians. They give low, jazz bass with ear-catching beats that seem to come from miscellany found in a kitchen cabinet. The melody is much more fluid and woven into the rhythms, a slow-temp line from a synthesizer. Stockholm's Pro-Seed lays down lazy electronic grooves with a smattering of Jamaican dub. Ambient worldbeat for enhancing the hours just before dawn. Vancouver's Perfume Tree includes a cut from their 1997 Tide's Out EP, "Too Late, Too Early." This fits the tone of the preceding track very well, but opts for an Art of Noise-like flavor instead of something subtropical. Ex-Wirevocalist Colin Newman gives us a sample of his 1997 solo LP, Bastard. This compilation is nicely sequence, building up with the techno-rock of Electric Company into the 'after after hours' space-forays of Flotilla and Sugar Plant. Slow Death In Metronome Factory is an excellent introduction to electronica state-of-the-art.

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