REVIEW: Download - "Effector"

By Dan Century

Chain Border

EffectorI am a programmer and banal ambient music helps pass the hours as I churn out volumes of tag-delimited documents and CGI code. Effector is perfectly banal ambient music: clever enough to be left in the CD drawer for a full spin - but nothing new, nothing mind-blowing and nothing that lives up to cEvin Key's previous efforts. Still the most lackluster moment on this disk is better than most of the crap that passes for ambient music. Fans of the Orb, FSOL, Plaid, and µuziq will appreciate Effector.

I'm won't waste our time describing every tone, beep, gurgle and beat: that would be like describing a piece of toast - boring for the both of us. Instead, say hello to Pikachu:

      | \.,,,__________
     /            __!!/  
    |(@)    (@)   \
   ()   .     ()  |
    \  ,.,        /  -- "Pikachu"
    /             \
 \"/        \''\  |
   \            <_/
    \          <_,|
     .,..,,/"/,  /\\
     \  |  \____/  \\   
      ""         __//
          _____ ||''
         /  / \\||
        /  /   \,|
       |__|     \/

Two songs - the two most interesting songs on the album - break the "ambient" mold:

Vagator begins with a hilarious sample of some prankster calling into a radio talk show claiming to be a "demon." The opening notes of the song form a circus-like calliope melody which combined with the beat immediately made me think of the Insane Clown Posse. I imagined the Insane Clown Posse rapping over the music and it just about ruined it for me, but not completely.

Chrysanthemum, a "classic after-work jam," wades knee deep in the waters better known as cyber-funk, sounding more like a laid back Daft Punk jam than Download. It's a shame that a groove this good will get lost and forgotten amidst the ambient tracks.

Effector: the perfect soundtrack to a mundane and meaningless life. Sigh.

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