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posted: Mar 25, 2006 category: Reviews

On The One And The Zero:

On the One and the Zero is a chunky bit of synth work with thrashalong drums from a group that clearly has been immersed in German and Eastern European hard tekno and breakcore. Scanalyzer focuses intensely on squeezing every last drop out of their gear and plug-ins; this makes for sounds reminiscent of the industrial scene from which the group sprang. Though this record lacks the wicked warm dub of a screaming Scud or Full Watts production, it's still solid and worth checking for those who are down for the core.

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posted: Mar 22, 2006 category: Reviews

On The One And The Zero:

The first full release from the proclaimed "bastard love child" of Chris Randall (Sister Machine Gun) and Wade Alin (Christ Analogue) is nothing short of a masterpiece. Branching into electronica-infused drum-n-bass, glitchy IDM with a hint of power electronics and distortion thrown in for good measure, this project refuses to be pigeonholed into a specific sound and dips into several sub-genres of the electronic scene.

Some of these tracks, like "Moretech" and "One Seventy Five", are songs with dance floor-friendly appeal. After that upbeat, energetic sound you hit interludes like "Hifishit" (a mellow break with a little piano melody and some quiet voice playback) and songs like "Monotreme" (deep bass mixed with ambient textures) to bring you back down. One of the many great things on this album is that although each track is distinctive, they progress smoothly from one to the other, producing what could be the perfect soundtrack to an indie film, or just to your life.

I truly believe Scanalyzer has its own unique sound, so it's impossible to say it "sounds just like" anything. However, on various tracks I detected hints of and Beyond Digits (techy-drum-n-bass), Black Lung/Xingu Hill on "The Andronechron Incident" (glitchy, ambient IDM) and even some of Randall's electro-oriented project, Micronaut.

As the more experimental side of music seems to be a niche set of listeners, I can't promise this will appeal to everyone. Fans of Ad Noiseam and Ant-Zen artists should have no problems eating this one up. If you're someone who finds a full album of to be too abrasive, I think Scanalyzer provides an easier format for you to get into. In short it's just refreshing to find a project that strays away from overdone cliches of genres (ahem, futurepop anyone?) and provides us with a well-produced, diverse album. Highly recommended.

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posted: Feb 26, 2006 category: Reviews

Metropolitan:

With Atomica, Christ Analogue's Wade Alin and singer Lauren Cheatham have created perhaps the first trip-hop project truly worthy of being compared to Portishead. The similarities are apparent from the laid-back bass groove of opening track "One Day in New York City" to the slow rhythmic throb of "Gun," but Atomica are no slavish imitators. Where Portishead was minimal and beat-driven, letting the vocals carry the melody while the programmed parts confined themselves to the drums and bass line, Alin is much less reticent to add interesting instrumental arrangements. For example, "Larsen" incorporates lush arrangements of sampled strings, while "Salt" adds a hint of vibraphones for a jazzier feel. "Recent," one of Metropolitan's most achingly bittersweet pieces, adds bluesy guitar riffs to the vintage fuzz and electric organs, while "Pollen" and the exquisite "Sorrow" focus on soft piano. Cheatham's contributions as lyricist are also essential to Atomica's distinctiveness, ranging from the concrete melancholy of urban landscapes in "Delorian" to the surreal but evocative wordplay on "Quiver." About as far as can be from Alin's work in Christ Analogue, Atomica is just as intense, albeit in a much subtler way, and Metropolitan is no less than a musical masterpiece. This is mandatory listening for anyone with an interest in trip-hop, chill-out music, and down-tempo grooves.

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posted: Feb 1, 2006 category: Reviews

Metropolitan:

Featuring the haunting vocals of Lauren Cheatham, Atomica is a moody trip-hop project that recalls Portishead and Evanesence in atmosphere, while musically staking its own ground. Programmer and songwriter Wade Alin created this downtempo electronica with keyboardist Percy Trayanov providing expressive piano, Wurlitzer, and synthesizer playing to compliment the evocative mood. There's an orchestral feel to songs like the superb "Sorrow," wrapping Cheatham's intoxicating vocals in swelling strings and forlorn piano melodies. This is a lovely disc that has lasting emotional resonance and well-constructed musical soundscapes. Seek it out and soak it in.

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posted: Jan 28, 2006 category: Reviews

On The One And The Zero:

This joint effort of Wade Alin of Atomica and Chris Randall of Sister Machine Gun is a sort of darkwave "synth-off," both electronic artists trying to outloop, outgizmo, outgroove, and outstrange one another... plus, you can dance to most of it! All instrumental except for some odd sprechtstimme here and there. All in all an enjoyable session of noisemaking from two electronicists who simply have too much going on for a single band to encompass.

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posted: Jan 20, 2006 category: Reviews

Metropolitan:

As I listen to Metropolitan, I imagine I'm staring out an airplane window as we fly over some foreign mega city in the year 2085. It must be that perfect combination of downtempo beats, layered orchestration, and evocative female vocals. Or maybe it's the superior production level on these tracks that makes this the perfect headphone soundtrack for my afternoon daydreaming.

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posted: Jan 5, 2006 category: Reviews

On The One And The Zero:

On The One And The Zero is Randall and Alin laying bare their love for the metallic clatter of Einstürzende Neubauten, their inner furor for Squarepusher beat collisions and their nascent tumescence for glitch and static-pop. They've made a record of junkyard funk, a fusion of synth-pop (sans such ephemeral nonsense as lyrics) and machine noise that beats with just a jackhammer fury that it sweats viscous oil...Scanalyzer is the sound of the free underground radio stations of the next generation: built in the basement, mastered in the kitchen and blasted into the ether by a hand-made transmitter hidden out behind the tool shed. Raw, noisy, and sure to raise blisters on your lips as you kiss your speakers.

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posted: Dec 29, 2005 category: Reviews

Europa:

Normally a Micronaut album is wrought with big-beat house but Europa is its distant dark cousin. Grouped well with the likes of dark ambient but with more of a Aphex Twin or Autechre style with its disjointed bleeps and beats, Europa is one of those albums that you come across and can't put down…ever. The cello you hear is courtesy of Mike Fisher of Machines of Loving Grace and Amish Rake Fight fame. Chris Randall's fame might have come at the helm of his electro-industrial outfit Sister Machine Gun (one of my personal faves) but he continues to impress alongside Miguel Turnazas with his Micronaut project. Stoked isn't even close to cutting it.

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posted: Dec 28, 2005 category: Reviews

Metropolitan:

Trip-hoppy and kind of jazzy, very stylish electronics and female vocal. Addictive hooks and sophisticated delivery, redolent with meaning. If I didn't loathe the commercial music industry so much I might smell a "hit" here. Alas, I lack sufficent weaselhood to make that proclamation. This is the real shizzle though.

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posted: Dec 25, 2005 category: Reviews

On The One And The Zero:

Teaming up in Scanalyzer is Sister Machine Gun's Chris Randall and Christ Analogue's Wade Alin. Their full-length debut On the One and the Zero sees a return to electronic ingenuity and industrial waste lands. The rhythms are noisy and populated with incredible engineering efforts that show off both artists extreme programming skills. Bleep-happy hipsters will love the IDM and glitchy beats but this is an album that is experimentally catchy. The soundscapes are dark and cavernous, and you're often furiously tripping out over the complex nature of the synthetic melodies.

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