posted: Jan 15, 2007 category: Reviews
On The One And The Zero:
Secondary projects are always interesting. Normally they don't feel the necessity of living up to expectations -except for those that end up being more popular than the original artists- and can play with a wide range of possibilities. Fun, experimentation or simple curiosity can make artists compose songs in very different ways they would normally, and Scanalyzer is no exception. The band composed by Chris Randall (Sister Machine Gun) and Wade Alin (Christ Analogue) takes music to a different level for both of them. Full bodied and very melodic. That was the sound you first find in the liquid approach to drum'n'bass that Scanalyzer bring. The band uses a main theme line and presents modulations over it. Introduces breaks, cuts and stops, keeping the rhythm uniform and using only slight variations in velocity. They introduce some industrial sounds, crunching bases and dirty arrangements over cleaner and darker melodic lines. "Zwischenspiel Eine" is one of the first of four, and introduces the first distortions, composition freedom and industrial feeling to it. It hooks up directly with "Scan 7" where the long sharp notes penetrate through the highly danceable thick techno lines, while the broken beats and drums fly all around.
The main orientation of Scanalyzer's music doesn't seem to be the dance floor. The beats are fast, sometimes hectic, and grinding; but it is simply a consequence of the style they have chosen. Their compositions are far wider and aspire to much more that simple drum'n'bass / drum'n'noise dancing. Scanalyzer does not hesitate in creating a slower realm with many more possibilities, vertexes and transformations. It is also extremely interesting the way they have created the record as a whole. The order of the songs, and the introduction of the "Zwischenspiel" follows the main reason of displaying the record as a complete story-line that once you start listening to, you feel compelled to follow through intensively to its end.
"Hifishit" lowers the velocity and introduces the song into a mid-tempo full of changes, where, as a ghost a dark cinematographic melody is introduced for a moment and then torn away. Piano notes, voice samplers and background noise catch a brooding attitude for the closing of the song. Except the sound develops directly into "Monotreme" that keeps the atmospheric feeling to it, and takes it into a far more epic and grander place. The melodies that take possession of the composition, over the broken beats, various arrangements and noises are powerful and captivating, transforming the fifth cut of the record into a soundtrack of heroics and insurrection. "Zwischenspiel Zwei" is an end for the darker side of Scanalyzer and opens the door of a harsher place.
"Herstius" brings back the velocity and anger in the form of crunching beats, the spotlight on short melodic lines of bases and a remarkable amount of overlapping percussion. Followed by another "Zwischenspiel", this time its goal is to smoothly take the thicker techno synthesizer work into a lighter liquid world of "One Seventy Five". This song is very melodic, sort of naïf and, although it opens easily as an accessible composition, it soon shows its distorted side of noise and deconstruction. These two are perhaps some of the most predictable songs they offer, converting it into the one with most possibilities of belonging to the rhythmic industrial scene, and taking control of the alternative demanding dance floors.
"Screamer" introduces much more voice samplers than previous songs, defending the name it was given, and strongly underlining the broken beats that it is made with. "Additionally All That Work" has an ambitious catchy tune that is surrounded by creeks, noises, bleeps and frequencies. The song is built on repetition, growth and destruction of a very powerful nature. "Neutron Dub" is dirtier and much haughtier, with standing out beats and an actual vocal line passed through distortion. "Modsinth" keeps the speed and throws some clashes, noises and blows over uniform broken beats.
The last "Zwischenspiel Vier" is charged with samplers, but evolves into a song of its own. It seems to be in a way a bit more primitive than the preceding compositions, and appear sort of as a 'take' on a melody possibility that shuts down to give entrance to "Screenbitter", a strong, fast and danceable song that is full of energy. It is perhaps one of the most direct cuts of the record. On The One And The Zero is meant to be listened to as a whole. For sure one can find amazing individual songs, with great possibilities; but I recommend you take an hour of your quotidian life and use Scanalyzer as a soundtrack. Life will be much more savory, exciting and alert.
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