Wireless Internet

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"Would you like to play a game?" Arpanet would like to engage you in global thermoelectro warfare. (OK, maybe not.) The artwork of their Wireless Internet looks more like a report of some sort than a record; to the eye, "P2101V," "Devoid of Wires," and "NTT DoCoMo" look more like chapter headings than song titles. After wading past the conceptual slant and the throwaway introductory track that consists of a voice -- a cross between Stephen Hawking, Twin Peaks' Man from Another Place, and the military supercomputer from WarGames -- explaining the concept behind Arpanet, which concerns itself with micro-electronic handheld technology and the possibility of it becoming a reality for everyone on the planet, there's a decent but not spectacular neo-electro album. Wireless Internet could be a fitting soundtrack for an educational film about its concept, or it could also function as a score for an '80s sci-fi thriller directed by Ken Russell that was never made. Somewhat surprisingly, these sterile, cold tracks have just as much in common with egghead synth pop innovator John Foxx and the pre-coed Human League as they do Drexciya and Dopplereffekt (the latter of which has significant ties to this record). The productions on "I-Mode," "NTT DoCoMo," and "Devoid of Wires" are throwbacks to a time before Cybotron, while the beats and atmospheres on the other tracks are more in line with the Detroit electro birthed in that duo's wake. And then, the beatless tracks "Wireless Internet" and "P2101V" evoke paranoia just as well as piece of music from an '80s sci-fi film, basking in synth drones and burbling, percolating effects. The record is by no means a masterpiece. Yet, it has plenty of bracing moments to please the most avid Detroit electro junkie.

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