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Mice or Cyborg - EP

Lab Rat XL

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Album Review

Mice or Cyborg is the last of the seven "storms" that were promised from the Drexciya camp in 2001, back when an album under the name the Other People Place was released by Warp. Released almost exactly a year after the near-simultaneous releases of both Transllusion's L.I.F.E. and Shifted Phases' The Cosmic Memoirs of the Late Great Rupert J. Rosinthorpe — which was roughly two months after the passing of member James Stinson — this release for the Netherlands' Clone is a brief but substantial album credited to Lab Rat XL. The titles hadn't been sorted out prior to Stinson's death, so each track is numbered in succession, beginning with "Lab Rat 1" and ending with "Lab Rat 6." Whether or not it was intended, there are germs from nearly every phase of the group's existence coursing through these productions. For example, the patented flickering effects of the mid-'90s releases on UR mix in with the warm, gliding chords of the first Transllusion album to make "Lab Rat 1" a major standout. The third track's liquid flow (not an alienating sound to be heard) resembles the Other People Place album while retaining a trace of ghostly menace. Adding even more variety is "Lab Rat 4," with unresolved tension that would probably have a greater effect inside a DJ set of harsh electro-techno. Like the six prior storms, this one doesn't boast anything quite on the level of the early Drexciya classics; despite this, each storm has built on the group's legacy without threatening to dilute it. In fact, it feels like an understatement to say that Drexciya have left one of the richest and most consistent discographies in all of electronic music behind them.

Mice or Cyborg - EP, Lab Rat XL
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