The Enlightenment Machine

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Inspired by Brion Gysin and William S. Burroughs' flickering Dreamachine -- a stroboscopic device meant to be looked at with eyes closed -- producer Can Oral, aka Khan, returned to the experimental techno business with his 2014 release The Enlightenment Machine, a conceptual piece more likely to take the listener to sleepy town than a higher plane. Odd thing is, for an album so inspired by reaching altered states, this slow roller is surprisingly pop and plain with "You Like Like I Like," "Everybody Is a Bell," and "Pick a Point" ("... and you will be my destination") all coming off as standard songs, just delivered at a sluggish pace. Lyrics stick with the theme of transformation, and track titles like "Message in a Coke Bottle" and "The End (Will Be Pretty)" recall the cheeky Khan of yore (he set up an honest-to-gosh telephone sex line for his 1999 release 1-900-Get-Khan). Still, instead of enlightenment or edgy music, this one only offers an endurance test with very few hooks or brave ideas to latch onto.

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