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The Dead Bears

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Album Review

Initially a seven-track double 12" issued in November 2007, The Dead Bears is expanded for its 2008 CD version with four additional tracks. Though they come from Jochem Peteri releases dating back to 2000, they fit into the fabric of the album proper, inserted into the original sequence rather than tacked on the end. "NoworldbutU" (2001) and "Trespassers" (2000) do, however, produce the disc's most contrasting moments. The former is apparitional ambient techno that is subliminally gruesome, the score to a horror scene in zero gravity, while the latter could be classified as deep techno, where a fixed blunt thump and buried bassline are flanked by intersecting whoosh-like effects, delirious squawks, and what very closely resembles the fairy dust flourish from Hall & Oates' "I Can't Go for That." (Carl Craig loved "Trespassers" enough to license it for release on Planet E a full two years after the original Delsin 12" appeared.) Much of the material from the initial Dead Bears deals in a similar mix of abstract, disorienting goo: "Avon Sparkle" has the highest BPM of the batch, as well as the most drive, but would be one of the most restful periods of the average production album; "The Force," ten minutes in length, is little more than a clomping four-four and a deadened twinkle; "The Tide You Can't Feel," the set at its most psychedelic, pushes its anchoring bass low enough within the mix to be almost imperceptible, and is shuffled through a vaporous maze of submerged and smeared hand percussion. Supremely syrupy dance music that bends, warps, and massages the mind at will.

The Dead Bears, Newworldaquarium
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