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Speed Limit 140 BPM Plus

"Moonshine Mixed" CD (Moonshine), "Speed Limit 140 BPM Plus 7" CD (Moonshine), "Synthetic Pleasures Volume 1" CD (Moonshine), "Detroit: Beyond The Third Wave" CD (Astralwerks)

Punk seems increasingly less adventurous and experimental as time goes on, as its purveyors fall into a rut they are either unwilling or unable to get out of. However, electronic progressive music seems to be filling the gap, fusing dub, hip hop, house, ambient and whatever else has been hiding under the kitchen sink for the past 30 years into a coherent, stirring, energetic and, ultimately, far more innovative music. "Moonshine Mixed" is an uplifting collection of continuously mixed cuts, all of which feature a steady rhythm, unlike the skittering textures of bass 'n' drum. In many cases, these cuts feature ambient sounds, hip hop samples and textures, a dub influence - there's quite a bit to listen to and absorb. "Speed Limit" is harder to get into, if only because the beats leap and stutter like a fibrillating heart, some straying entirely from conventional tempos while still featuring the hip hop and ambient stylings which transform it from an exercise in percussion to an aesthetic proposition which offers more than rolling snares and bass, adding eerie, otherworldly sounds and noise. Of all these, "Synthetic Pleasures" is probably the most noteworthy, featuring cuts by Young American Primitive, Terre Thaemlitz and Banco de Gaia among others. It's primarily ambient, but periodically a beat works its way in along with some jazz-flavored keyboards, alien blips and exotic vocals which stimulate the flesh as much as the ears. However, "Detroit" is also worth listening to once or twice, if only to hear what is going on in one of the flashpoints for electronic progressive.
Moonshine Music, 8525 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069
Astralwerks, 114 W. 26th St., 11th Fl., New York, NY 10001

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Last modified on Wednesday, March 26, 2008