The Drive

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Jon Egeskov, the man behind the Pixel name, claimed that his third album was meant to soundtrack a trip across the U.S. by car -- less in the running time than in the coordinates for the route, as given in the song titles for all seven tracks. (If nothing else, it'll give those who like using GPS a kick.) The Drive very much takes its atmospherics seriously, with an engine vroom from the start working in the fine tradition of Kraftwerk's "Autobahn" (or if one prefers, Depeche Mode's "Stripped") when it comes to electronics hitting the blacktop, and from there the seven-part album makes an often enjoyable way. Pixel's secret weapon is his way around threat and the bottom end -- the sly, murderously tense bassline on the second track, nicely contrasted with a far more vicious bass buzz on the sixth, shows his gifts exceptionally well, helping to keep the album from just being about a Sunday drive to the park. Everything else, from static crackle to general drone-zone, all punctuated by solid beats, puts the album on a higher plane than so much IDM by rote.

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