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All That Glitters

MRI

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Album Review

MRI broadens its style on All That Glitters, the follow-up to the duo's unanimously praised debut full-length, Rhythmogenesis, to include more vocals, more dub, and more overall variety. Of all the tech-house artists moving the age-old sound of house further toward the possibilities of the glitch aesthetic — using laptops rather than samplers and traditional instruments — MRI was in the lead at the time Force Tracks released All That Glitters, alongside such fellow glitch-house trendsetters as Luomo. The music MRI presents here both affirms the duo's status as innovators and points toward new directions for house to evolve. In particular, songs such as "Tied to the 80s," "Blue," and "Nightclubbing at Home" present new directions: the first is glitch-house that reinterprets disco the way glitch producers such as Kid 606 and Andreas Tilliander have reinterpreted hip-hop; the second, again, looks outside the traditional glitch-house boundaries, this time adopting the lyrics and melody from Aaliyah's "Try Again"; the third incorporates some of the dark and dubby motifs that made progressive house so popular in the early 2000s, continually building toward an unreachable euphoric summit. Note that these more daring and exciting tracks — along with "Deep Down South," another dancefloor-intended track similar to the tracks on Rhythmogenesis — bookend the album. Also note that between these two bookends are six relatively down-tempo and more experimental tracks; these six songs serve almost as an intermission, presenting you with engaging ideas before the album picks up the intensity level again for the aforementioned album-closing "Nightclubbing at Home." Beyond these smaller details, it's perhaps simplest to think of All That Glitters as an album in the proper sense — with a beginning, middle, and end and diverse throughout — and to think of MRI's Rhythmogenesis as a collection of tracks, many of them amazing but lacking the album-like context that would have made them even more amazing.

Biography

Formed: Frankfurt, Germany

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s

Few producers surpassed the success and acclaim of MRI during the rise of German minimal house in the early 2000s as chronicled by such labels as Force Tracks, Kompakt, and Perlon. This Frankfurt, Germany, production duo — Stephan Lieb and Frank Elting, who also record elsewhere — made Force Tracks one of the Force Inc. label's most embraced sub-labels beginning in 1998. A year later, Force Tracks released the first MRI full-length, Rhythmogenesis, a collection of three previously released...
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