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Brainclub Vol. II

Brainclub Vol. II (Holodeck)

Reviewed by Greg Beets, Fri., May 16, 2014

Phases & Stages

Compiled by Pure X's Jesse Jenkins and Kyle Dixon of Survive, Holodeck's second Brainclub collection offers a heady overview of Austin's electronic music subculture. Analog archeology is the unifying element here, the lab coat-clad wonderment of electronic music's pioneer days reimagined through the prism of retro-futurism. Taking structural cues from the minimalist tradition, seven instrumentals make the most of austerity and repetition, slowly evolving into distinctive, electro-mechanical mantras. Bill Converse's "Baboonatic" pits vintage TR-808 rhythms against a proto-techno synth phrase that wouldn't be out of place in a late-Seventies production music library. Krallen's "Hoar" mines pure dystopian horror with a groaning carousel warble that becomes more foreboding with each revolution. Malcolm Elijah from Silent Diane offers the contemplative "Emerald Diosphere Milxca," which bears modernized familiarity to the madcap outer space fantasias of Joe Meek. Then the rubbery, synthetic tribal drum pattern that drives Ex-Person's "Kwenda" brings us back to Earth. A worthy travelogue that warrants further investigation.

***.5

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