CD Review

Von Magnet – “De L'Aimant”

By Marcus Pan

De L'AimantVon Magnet impressed me with its refreshing blend of old world Europe and modern electronica. Mixed up with a dash of trance and smooth complicated rhythms, their Electro Flamenco(1) release was welcomed by myself greatly with the hum drum submissions of "more elctronic" or "more industrial" or "another one of those." Von Magnet really mixed it up for me, making things interesting again.

Now their De L'Aimant CD hits my desk from Paris. Twelve tracks of similar music for true aficionados, experimenting with combinations of, once again, Spanish guitar and rhythmic roots and modern computeresque creations. Suffusing live mandarin with background choruses and soundscapes, picking up the beat to a near-techno haul at times, Von Magnet is continuing to impress Europe as a whole...and even crusty old me.

With highlight tracks like Arena, which will slide in solid drum 'n bass patterns intersliced with mandarin strumming and electronica backgrounds. One of the most refreshing tracks since the Roland first created MPU electronics. Electroflamenco is here as well again, with a much more experimental attitude as if the track had gone out on a banging night of bar hopping and toadstool dosing before returning to the studio tripping out to be pressed here in its surrealistic glory.

Then there's Ma Peine, probably the best track on De L'aimant. An old world tango given a make-over for the new millennium. Very moving, extremely rhythmic and filled with taps, castanets, claps and thrillingly executed mandarin strains. Subtle electronic thingees sneak into the background. Von Magnet takes two musical styles born centuries apart – tango/flamenco and electronica – and blends them like they were hatched together.

The album seems to open experimental and close similarly, with tracks like Silencio! and Morime exploring new ideas in sound fusion at the beginning and Fantasmas and El Vacio tinkering slowly along, almost slouching and moping away. The moving dance and trance numbers populate the center of De L'Aimant which makes the album as a whole a truly progressive experience from beginning to end.

Von Magnet is still one of the most refreshing and solidly different acts out there. Worth the price of admission if your interested in queuing up something new in your player. And if ever in France, be sure to try and catch one of their live shows. I hear they’re fabulous.

Contact Information:
Von Magnet
Post: 57 Rue del Eglese, 77370 Fontenailles, France
Phone: (068) 521-5873
(1) Reviewed in Legends #143.