CD Review

Regenerator – “Regenerated X”

By JHR

Regenerated XI'm not entirely sure I should like this. I've spent the last several months listening to little more than Akufen, Kraftwerk, Squarepusher and Severed Heads. I also made a decision to actively avoid EBM and its many black-clad young since I couldn't stand to listen to any more music that seemed to take a perverse delight in not so much falling between the stools where the good and mad music was sitting and slurping beer, but making a concerted effort to plop down among the sticky beer slops and discarded cigarettes and sulk there.

Further, this is an album of remixes by a reasonably stellar cast – F-242, Attrition and Xymox to name only three. Those usually end up exercises in dead horse flogging and/or frantic turd-polishing. Usually. Ok, I'll admit it – this is one of the better records I've heard in the last six months.

Take Me (remixed by the Assemblage 23 – surely that's a hell of a mob to get in a studio?) is, as far as I can tell, a hymn to nearby occupants of interplanetary craft. The gist being 'Get me off this planet, they're all mad as badgers.' It's four and a half minutes of splendidness that's significantly better than any VNV I've put up with ever. Faith and Once Chance both manage to sound like top-quality AmigaDemos, though remixed by different people (Observe & Control and Koito respectively). Strange, minimal proto-Europop shot through with virus pulses to drag them back into the 21st century. Sublime. Everyone Follow isn't anything like long enough. Just when a chap begins to really get into it, the blasted thing stops. A rotten trick.

None of this sounds American. There's something particularly assured about European techno/trance production – similar to the feel of a Braun radiogram or the design decisions inherent in the layout of a French cement factory or Highpoint in London. Drive down an interstate and your mental soundtrack is Lynyrd Skynyrd or Springsteen – soundly proletarian guitar music. Pilot a Saab or Tatra toward Berlin and the soundtrack is Kraftwerk, Oliver Leib or Sven Vath – music seemingly created by the action of the roads themselves.

Meanwhile, back on the album, a couple of tracks have wandered past like uninterested buses bound for dismal places where the natives lead humdrum lives and dream of sport and lager. Thankfully, the buses are followed by a wagon carrying the essence of Hawkwind. This is quickly signed for by Epsilon Minus and great shovelfuls are heaved over Shores of Forever without delay.

Then there are a sequence of strange scrorp and blorge noises while drum-machines jog on the spot. Thus by the time SD6 hand in their reworking of Faith those same drum-machines are leaning over the mixing desk and gasping for a cigarette and a bottle of brown ale. Attrition manage to make Archetype sound like an early 80's calculator while Divider provide the closing track – another version of Lightbringer – with a reflective set of arpeggios that give the impression that they'd quite fancy a bit of a chat with that Vangelis fellow.

And so to bed.

Contact Information:
Archetype Multimedia
Post: PO Box 1623, Lake Arrowhead, CA, 92352, USA
Phone: (909) 337-6608
Web: www.archetypemultimedia.com

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