Mana ERG The Blind Watchmaker
By Marcus Pan
An effervescent collection of
smoothly laid soundscapes that takes influence from drum n bass,
noir and techno with hints of dark imagery and interesting glitch. The Blind
Watchmaker is such an interesting off kilter title than you can easily
expect the strange noise that follows the spinning of the CD. Mana Ergs
fifth release thus far, Bruno De Angelis with Joe Erber, Tiberio and guest
electro-composers Artemiy Artemiev and Dieter Moebius, have built a mix of
weirdness that rivals masters like Atari Teenage Riot and Sigue Sigue Sputnik.
The funkiness of Bother opens the CD with a four on
the floor drum n bass mix-up built under static overtones and
coalescing vocals. The overall feel is one of illucidity and encompassing
madness. Bother closes with such a brain slamming series of feedback and
static that you wonder how such a beat-centric piece can fade into such chaos.
Wasps gets predominantly techno laced with background wisps of weird.
Brunos vocals are even and touched with a hint of the strange to wire
into the surrounding mix-up of techno soundage and ambient electro.
The Lynx slows us down to a loping rhythm and subtler
movement. Cunctis Diebus is similar with its slower moving style but
adds more of a drum n bass solid beat to it while retaining its
darker vision. Angel of Chaos is a very dark piece of work but cut into
by pure funk rhythms and fat back snare drums. An interesting combination.
Novi Mir picks up the pace with a swifter rhythm and stompier beat with
Burnos voice coming in more as a spit-rap than a sung lyric.
Burning Fields is an instrumental piece and takes on
an experimental noise stance without as much anchoring rhythms or melodies
weve heard on the rest of The Blind Watchmaker. Children of the
Rubble gives me a solid Alien Sex Fiend reminder with the way the vocals
are done. The album then closes with an untitled track at the very end that
consists of almost a half minute of dead air as a buffer and then gets
experimental like Burning Fields as it winds The Blind Watchmaker
Mana Ergs The Blind Watchmaker was very
different from anything else. Thats probably why I enjoyed it so much.
Techno-glitch mixed with dark ambient can usually lead to a good, albeit
strange, time and Mana Erg is no exception. Youre never quite sure where
youre going for the most part it could be stompy and upbeat like
Bother or weird and off kilter like Burning Fields. But unless
youre having a bad flashback day, its usually a really nice place
to hang for a while.
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