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E/i Magazine

My Mind Machine & The Wired one (review)

Published: August 6, 2007
Tags: esc.rec.06, esc.rec.07, Press


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Maga confounds expectations. On My Mind Machine, track titles such as “Acid Drops” and “Shadow Fu” might instantly make one reach for the usual litany of artist comparisons—early Atom Heart, Luke Vibert, Depth Charge, Patrick Pulsinger, just about anyone on the Rephlex roster—and, to some degree, those checkpoints are accurate.

However, thanks to a remarkable economy of means (both of these discs are fairly short), not to mention some pretty handy knob-twiddlin’, slider-shufflin’ ability, Maga’s Marc Fien manages to distill the lively essence of primitive Detroit techoisms, spiky old-school New York City 80s electro, and contemporary noisebeat merchants all down into one messy splurgefest. No doubt a categorical malcontent, the guy’s simply down with letting his freak flag fly: “Shadow Fu” upsets the hip-hop apple cart with gleeful abandon, “Love Walk” is a delicious ode to tincan beatboxes and quacking waveforms, “Sleeping Trouble” enjoys making the kind of motorgrind rhythmic mayhem so beloved by last decade’s ex-pat citizens of the 808 states. Fien turns his genre-baiting into such infectious homage it would be downright blasphemous if it wasn’t so goddamn good.

Better still is The Wired One, an apt metaphor for both the technician and his attendant tech. The circular, jacking beat contours of “Mono Acid” perambulate so wildly they look to knock the randy electronic orb-blurts off their axis at any moment—it ends way too soon. “B* Sleepers” benefits from the kind of bassline thump that Barry Adamson would kill for, cinematic to a fault and a cocktease to boot—he’d probably envy the shifty hi-hats and penumatic synth wheezes, too. Forget the recent B12 shot(s)—this is the kind of drum machine dada that still goes down a storm 17+ years after the first bedroom boffins beat their boxes into sonic poetry.


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