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The Magnetic Wave of Sound

Max Rouen

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Album Review

Max Rouen describes the collage of music that he's created on Magnetic Wave of Sound as an audio take on Belgian Surrealism, which isn't too far off. Just as Rene Magritte challenged boundaries in his paintings by placing common objects in unfamiliar surroundings, Rouen uses a similar juxtaposition to cut and paste reverberated vocals that sound like they're from the '60s with modern breakbeats. By using analog tape and digital manipulation, he mixes a turn of the century electro style reminiscent of Massive Attack's Mezzanine or Air's 10,000 Hz Legend with moody old blues and jazz singers to concoct songs that sound simultaneously futuristic and timeless. Dark basslines intersect with distorted drum patterns and dirty synths in slow motion and hammer down cavernous slide guitar and imitation Serge Gainsbourg spoken vocals. It all fits seamlessly, despite the mishmashing. Mellow hotspots like when a 68-year-old whispers and croaks over creamy spy music like a French frog on "Leon's Lament," or when a sexy vocalist becomes turned on and casts her Voodoo spell in the sultry "Pox on You" create a perfect chillout vibe for a European hookah lounge or trendy coffee shop. If you plan to DJ an artsy laid-back environment any time soon, consider putting this disc on repeat and taking a disco nap.

The Magnetic Wave of Sound, Max Rouen
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