REVIEW: Various Artists - "Bloomington Electronic Music Coalition v2.0"

By Dan Century

Chain Border

Bloomington CompWho knew Bloomington Indiana was such a hotbed of electronic musical talent? Who knew? Did you? Do you even care? You don't do you? Could you at least pretend? Who are you anyway?


I figured that I was going to hate this compilation, and while it's not the best CD to find it's way into my CD player, it doesn't deserve a trashing. With better production and practice many of these bands would be able to break out of their local scene, or at least break out of their parents' basements. To the bands: I wish you all the best of luck, but don't quit your day job just yet.

This comp starts strong with the aggressive bedroom-techno beats of x-dimension fiasco by The Xynochronous Weasel. Frantic beats, electro-squealing and plenty of distortion make for a song that is simultaneously violent and funky.

Kalchbulcenter, by the generically named Slave Cylinder is a stank piece of hyper-distorted techno noise, reminiscent of early Aphex Twin remixes. Guaranteed to make everyone in the club leave the dance floor.

Chris Leighty's penetractal falls somewhere between a soundtrack for a Sega Genesis game and homemade drum 'n' bass.

Zed's silk would make good filler music for a second season episode of Twin Peaks or any episode of the X-Files. Nice and creepy.

Aslan's mother monarch, quality b-grade ambient. More mood than substance.

Tabula Raza's flare sounds like what drum 'n' bass would have sounded like if it was invented in the 80s instead of the 90s. Minimalist, but creative.

Shawn Delaney's lunatic fringe is a cross between A Split Second, early Lords of Acid and John Tesh. Is that a good thing?

Part's myrrh: pax interna is part moon landing, part Crash Bandicoot 1. A well arranged tribal / exotic ambience piece.

DRXL post hip-hop: The snare drum sounds exactly like a plastic baseball bat striking an unconscious human skull. Take an LL Cool J base riff, haunted house ambience and some drum 'n' base fills and you have a decent bed for a rapper to lay his rhymes on. Too bad there's no rapper.

Bobby Mono mingus vs. the megalons: Low fidelity beats mixed with Charles Mingus samples. Interesting and respectable, but it lacks the smoothness Migus' riffs deserve.

Game Boy electronic bliss: For the boy, but not for the rest of us… but seriously folks, if Henry Rollins was totally into computers and cheap electronic equipment, his music would sound exactly like this.

Grier & Bentley to be not: A solo Gregorian monk singing nonsense in English accompanied by machinery in varying states of disrepair. I only lasted about a minute into this track, so for all I know the remaining four minutes could be the greatest music ever recorded, but I'm not willing to take that chance.

Exdeath Amiotic asphyxiation: Imagine a massive garbage dumpster being dragged across a Burger King parking lot. Now, imagine that sound, recorded and filtered through some $40 guitar pedals. Now imagine you bought this CD and you want to cry.

Everybody knows how much I love these bastard sub-genres of disco we call "electronic" or whatever, but hey, the Republicans are back in office so it's time to rock - get a singer for your band and learn to write a decent hook and song structure.

PS: My Spell Check says "fuck you" to all your crazy band names and song names.

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