Curb Your Cynicism, Pt. 3

In which the music editor pithily enthuses about new releases and reissues he thinks will enhance your life and erode your cynicism about the state of music, circa now.

Mikkel Metal Brone and Wait (Echochord; available through Forced Exposure) Release date: April 17, 2007

Mikkel Metal (Copenhagen producer Mikkel Meldgaard) takes his nom de musique from his predilection for banging, metallic drum & bass tracks. But around 1999, he shifted his angle of attack to techno's more aerodynamic 4/4 rhythms. His handiwork in this style can be found on several releases for the mighty Kompakt and the up-and-coming Echochord imprints. Brone and Wait is Mikkel's third album and is a fine place to enter his deep sound world. The disc is a godsend for those mourning the absence of Germany's Chain Reaction label (has it really been seven years since Fluxion's Vibrant Forms II came out? Jebus). What this means is that Mikkel Metal is skilled in the ways of aquatic atmospheres and bass frequencies redolent of Kingston, Jamaica's dopest dub studios. He peddles a patient, methodical sort of techno that's more conducive to exploring your inner thought processes than it is for moving your ass to. I don't even like to smoke pot, but I find myself reflexively craving a big ol' spliff by the time track 4 (the awesomely hypnotic "Nexxer") kicks in. Oh, dear, don't tell the DEA about this album. They would never stand for it...

Elsewhere on Brone and Wait, Mikkel threads a pensive guitar motif through a stark, stoic techno trellis ("Exraster"); introduces finger-snaps and sandpaper rustle to enhance a dubby techno sashay that exhorts you to chill the hell out ("Sala"); creates the ultimate cracklin', static-kling-klang tribute to Pole ("Krudina"); and takes dubbalicious ambience to the Arctic Circle for a spindrift ("Conceal"). Overall, this album does a magnificent job of propelling you out of your Orange County state of mind. Don't tell me you can't benefit from such an excursion once in a while.


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