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Album Review

With Axioms, Impossible Recording Machine marks an impressive debut while adding another notch to the increasingly eclectic belt of Positron! Records (owned and run by Sister Machine Gun frontman Chris Randall). Running the gamut from jagged industrial clangs to wispy electronic murmurs, the album's 15 tracks forge through refreshingly original territory. Although Axioms serves as the debut for Impossible Recording Machine, it's actually the second time the band's two members have worked together. Having previously recorded as Retina, Matt Walker (the Smashing Pumpkins, Filter, Cupcakes) and Jim Dinou (Exo) reunite to create a more varied mix on this outing, showcasing the duo's talent for mixing the traditional with the spontaneous and the electronic with the acoustic. Essentially three five-song EPs combined into one set, Axioms' track order can be rearranged into separate sections. "Inertia," the first, contains a set of ambient songs with hushed loops, mellow pads, and skittering beats. The duo uses the minimalism and minor/major interaction throughout the section to its fullest, giving a sense of both sadness and comfort. The next section, "Acceleration," propels the set forward while helping to bridge the gap between the largely experimental first section and more conventional third. "Interference" acts as an introduction here, setting the stage then abruptly giving way to the percussive assault of "Compulsive 3." It's here that Matt Walker lets loose and showcases his exceptional drumming coupled with a barrage of distortion, overdrive, and phaser effects. With its cinematic atmospherics enhanced by agile synthesizer work, "Acceleration" leads into the third and final section, "Interaction." Featuring more pop-oriented songs such as "Safety in Numbers" and "The Bells," "Interaction" reveals Impossible Recording Machine's more accessible side, with conventional song structures and Jim Dinou's emotive vocal work. The old adage that "a song is never truly finished" is one that Walker and Dinou have been said to live by. However, it seems — at least on Axioms — they've loosened their grip and have left any apprehensions behind. With a satisfying balance of both straight-on hooks and trippy explorations, Impossible Recording Machine has released an intoxicating album that whets the appetite for more.

Customer Reviews

An excellent, original album!

I live for albums that simultaneously have excellent songwriting and production combined together, and this album more than meets that definition. I heard the poppy tracks like "The Bells" and "Safety in Numbers" when the album came out, and I've been looking for it ever since. When I finally got my hands on it, the rest of the album met exceeded my expectations! This is an incredible blend of industrial, electronic, poppy, rocky music that is a must-listen. I have yet to find someone who dislikes this album. My only argument against it is that the ambient tracks at the end really discredit the jumbled tracklisting of the album and mess with the concept considerably.


There are three types of songs on here: inertia (ambient), acceleration (instrumental) and interaction (pop) (pulled from their website).

This album has only gotten better for me with age. The songs on this album are dynamic and interesting, with a feeling of exploration, and maybe a bit of meloncholy.

iTunes, you need to put their second album on here! It's shorter, but an absolute masterpiece!

Fan for life

I came across Matt Walker's and Jim Dinou's work over a decade ago. I followed a local Chicago badn called EXO where Jim played keys, then as a big smashing pumpkins fan I knew about Matt. I found their release Retina released under the name Batterie if I'm correct before they became Impossible recording Machine. I listened to "The Bells" and "safety in Numbers" and I've been hooked ever since!!!.


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

In the early '90s, Chicago musicians Matt Walker and Jim Dinou began collaborating in their spare time. In 1995, Walker joined the touring lineup of Filter, then moved on to fill the drum throne for the Smashing Pumpkins after Jimmy Chamberlin's near drug overdose and dismissal. Walker also made several guest appearances during this time, lending drum work to albums by James Iha, Dennis DeYoung, and Marianne Faithfull. After his stint with the Pumpkins, he joined the Cupcakes, but returned to Chicago...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by Impossible Recording Machine

Axioms, Impossible Recording Machine
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