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"Accidental electronica" duo General Magic is perhaps the strangest, least stylistically constrained project on the Austrian Mego label's roster. Formed by label bosses Ramon Bauer and Andi Pieper around the same time they established Mego (GM's collaboration with Peter "Pita" Bauer, "Fridge Trax," was the first Mego release), GM released a pair of twelves on Mego, as well as a mini-LP (Live and Final Fridge) on Source before releasing the full-length CD Frantz in 1997. (The album was recorded in both Austria and Germany, where Bauer maintains the label's Berlin studio, and contains source material sampled from the rail line connecting the two cities.) Like Panasonic and Autechre, General Magic limit their tonal color palette to only a few categories of sound (drum machine, EQ, distortion, reverb) but manage to construct tracks of exquisite detail and, somehow, variety, with influences (where they are even recognizable) including dub, funk, techno, ambient/electro-acoustic, and hip-hop. As with those other groups, the key to General Magic's success is Bauer and Pieper's accomplished production, with even the dirtiest, most artifact-laden of sounds displaying a polished sheen that makes GM's music often more fascinating then affecting (although a few of the group's songs are actually quite moving). ~ Sean Cooper