xanopticon - liminal space
I try not to write reviews that make direct comparisons to other musicians, because it's not really a direct comparison: It's a comparison to the reviewer's perception of the other musician. If the reviewer hasn't already written a review of the music they're comparing it to, it's a waste of text at best, and can mislead at worst. That being said, it's really tempting in this case to say "This CD is like a softer version of [other musician]" as a lot of people might think the same.
This music would be quite difficult to dance to; I would highly recommend wearing headphones when listening to this. If you're going to listen to only one song off of this, track 6 (symphwrak) is probably not a bad choice (but do listen to the whole thing before passing judgement). There's a lot of extremely frantic rhythms overlaying ambient textures; separating each element onto its own CD could also be interesting to hear, which might give you an idea as to how complex some of this is. The CD cover has the symbol for a chemical irritant (an x) in the corner - this seems wholly appropriate, as the ambient textures reduce the discordia created by the rhythmic noise. Occasionally the chaos shapes itself into an identifiable pattern, but soon consumes itself; at other times, the ambient segments take over, giving one's brain some time to heal before the next onslaught. Conversely, the noisy bits dispel any melancholy feelings that the ambient segments might create, resulting in a surprisingly bright atmosphere. I suspect I'm going to keep hearing new things in this CD for a long time to come.
Bob @ March 2005