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  Estrunax Records Sampler  

Dressed In Wires, Les 7 Mondes, POiNT, and Bloke

Release Date:
  April 2004  
Reviewed by:
  Indoor Miner  

"Mum, dad, it's evil – don’t touch it", says a child’s voice at the start. And I can think of a lot of folk, such as people who like their music less spiky, less demanding, who may agree with that devilish description. But what the hell, that’s their loss, because this eleven track sampler album from the Estrunax label (whose motto is "Music for the good side of your brain") certainly has its moments.

Dressed In Wires, from Yorkshire, England, open the proceedings with what the label describes as laptop music "with a DIY garage punk approach, using a CD full of cracked software and a cheap soundcard." And, impressive they are, too. The Autechre-like opener, Lactating For You, features a pretty, music box-like melody underpinned by a stomping beat that drops in and out to good effect. Dressed In Wires also provide a couple of other tracks. The charmingly titled I Can See Myself Cumming In Your Hair Tonight contains loopy noises, sampled voices and what sounds like someone shaking a bit of tin sheeting, while Aphids In Me marries electronica’s very own version of a screeching neo-metal riff with a piano that comes in from nowhere so quickly that it sounds like it’s being thrown down the stairs. Bizarrely, it reminds me of Gang Of Four’s He’d Send in the Army!!

Next up are Les 7 Mondes, a London based French duo and founders of the Estrunax label. They contribute four of their own tracks, the best of which is A La Rencontre Des Aliens with its altogether warmer sound, early 80’s keyboards and howling dogs. Actually, there’s something quite Magazine-like about it, albeit a Magazine where singer Howard Devoto is keeping his big mouth shut. The other Les 7 Mondes tracks have a suitably doomy feel to them, though they come close to spoiling Far From Harmony, which perhaps becomes too noodly for its own good.

The two other artists on this collection – POiNT (who is also French) and Bloke, who according to the blurb was "born far away in Israel" - provide just the two tracks each. This is a shame since POiNT’s Pollux is a highpoint of the disc, with synth drones that have an almost soothing quality sitting above simple percussive beats. Best of all though is the wonderfully (and succinctly!) named Bloke, whose Signal To Noise Performance has a beautiful and yet familiar intro, before it gets all drum and bass on us. Likewise, Distorted Indoor Games has rasping percussion and pretty bits that burst in from nowhere before everything collides quite beautifully. A cracking track which is definitely the album's high point for me.

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