MOT O R TORO Y MOI Causers of This (Carpark Records)

Pasatiempo - - Cd Reviews - — Casey Sanchez — James M. Keller (Dim Mak)

Hy­per Ma­chine

Devo­tees of ’80s-and ’90s-era in­dus­trial mu­sic and acid house (think Nitzer Ebb, Lords of Acid, and 808 State) needn’t cling to the past to get a taste of their beloved dark-rave sub­cul­ture. Mo­tor — the brain­child of DJ/pro­duc­ers Bryan Black and Mr. No — proves ev­ery bit as good as the clas­sics for stir­ring the sup­pressed sweaty dance-floor mon­key in all of us. But sorry, candy ravers: your cutesy Haribo lunch boxes and neon paci­fiers are not wel­come to the new­est Mo­tor party, be­cause th­ese boys bring it sick, evil, and re­lent­less. Es­chew­ing the disco-in­flected for­mu­lae that helped bring techno into the dance-pop main­stream, Mo­tor serves up what it calls, ac­cu­rately, “dance metal” — an amal­gam of GameBoy glitch; dig­i­tally fi­nessed fuzz-metal gui­tar; gen­er­ous pitch-bend­ing synths; siren wails; pound­ing beats; and fleet­ing voice-track sam­ples. The rhyth­mic flow of Hy­per Ma­chine bor­ders on au­ral tor­ture. From the open­ing ti­tle track to “Thwack,” the al­bum’s closer, there’s lit­tle mercy in the beat pres­sure Black and Mr. No ap­ply to your eardrums. Thank­fully, though, most of the songs carry enough orig­i­nal­ity to keep things in­ter­est­ing. “Feed­back Loop” and “Le Bitch” sound sim­i­lar enough to be re­treads of each other, but the rest of the al­bum is as hip-grind­ingly time­less as the best acid-house al­bums of yes­ter­year. — Rob DeWalt

Peer­less Chopin in­ter­preter Martha Arg­erich achieved near-mythic stature while wrestling psy­cho­log­i­cal and phys­i­cal chal­lenges that mir­ror the demons and in­fir­mi­ties Chopin him­self faced.

JAGUAR LOVE Holo­gram Jams (Fat Pos­sum Records) For any new­comer to Jaguar Love, the make-or-break mat­ter will be Johnny Whit­ney’s voice, a de­monic cat­er­waul that has been likened to a “child be­ing tor­tured,” “Robert Plant on steroids,” or “Perry Far­rell af­ter a sex change.” Dance punk isn’t an ad­e­quate term to de­scribe the band’s new record, Holo­gram Jams, which sounds like the Go-Gos cov­ered by Def Lep­pard, or for younger read­ers, Sleater-Kin­ney if the group had been pro­duced by Di­plo. Drum­mer Jay Clark left the band last year to be re­placed by stu­dio loops and a drum ma­chine. The change has pro­duced joy­ous, spas­tic sin­gles like “I Started a Fire” and “Up All Night,” which deftly rides a 4/4 house beat over thrash-metal chords and arm­chair-apoca­lypse lyrics. Other times, the mix is dis­as­trous, like when the band fum­bles through power chords and squelched synths to pro­duce a barely lis­ten­able cover of Ja­nis Jo­plin’s “Take a Piece of My Heart” as a hid­den, fi­nal track. Many of Jaguar Love’s fans, who fol­lowed Whit­ney from his screamo stint helm­ing the Seat­tle post-hard­core band Blood Broth­ers, may be shocked that the Jags are ditch­ing the hard­core pit for some­thing re­sem­bling a dance floor. When the band plays March 13 at Launch­pad in Al­bu­querque, I can only imag­ine the le­gion of 19-yearold emo kids, try­ing to con­ceal their smiles as they jerk their bodies in ec­static, if ill-timed move­ments. CHOPIN Arg­erich Plays Chopin (Deutsche

Gram­mophon) The high point of the fes­tiv­i­ties sur­round­ing the 200th birth­day of Frédéric Chopin, cel­e­brated on March 1, must be this new, unan­tic­i­pated all-Chopin CD from his peer­less in­ter­preter, Martha Arg­erich. Ec­cen­tric and reclu­sive, the Ar­gen­tine pi­anist achieved near-mythic stature while wrestling psy­cho­log­i­cal and phys­i­cal chal­lenges that mir­ror the demons and in­fir­mi­ties Chopin him­self faced. She has cham­pi­oned a lim­ited reper­toire, but Chopin has been one of her in­su­per­a­ble strengths; in fact, it was her victory at the 1965 Chopin In­ter­na­tional Pi­ano Com­pe­ti­tion that cat­a­pulted her to star­dom. As­sem­bled from recital tapes for­got­ten in archives in Cologne and Berlin — one track from 1959 (when she was 18), the rest from three con­certs in 1967 — this CD fills in disco­graphic gaps by in­clud­ing six Chopin works Arg­erich never recorded else­where, among them a vi­brant read­ing of the G-mi­nor Bal­lade and a dash­ing ac­count of the C-sharp Mi­nor Etude. Ev­ery­thing we ex­pect of Arg­erich is here: tonal spa­cious­ness, tim­bral fi­nesse, dig­i­tal vir­tu­os­ity, ped­al­ing of ex­cep­tional ex­pres­siv­ity, and, above all, un­canny rhyth­mic acu­men that al­lows for con­sid­er­able ru­bato without sac­ri­fic­ing the un­der­ly­ing mo­men­tum. All of this reaches an apex in her bril­liant in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the Sonata in B Mi­nor. The recorded sound ranges from good to su­perb, mak­ing this an es­sen­tial doc­u­ment of splen­did Chopin play­ing. If you raise your hand to shield your eyes from the sun, you can just make out South Carolina’s Chaz Bundick (aka Toro Y Moi) surf­ing in on the waves cre­ated by An­i­mal Col­lec­tive’s con­sid­er­able seis­mic im­pact on the in­die-mu­sic world. Bundick clearly takes in­spi­ra­tion from that group’s psy­che­delic melodies, but he im­bues them with a more trop­i­cal feel. Beginning with the twin­kling gui­tar lick that sur­faces in the opener, “Blessa,” you can prac­ti­cally see the heat em­a­nat­ing from Bundick’s gen­tly warped washes of key­boards, sam­ples, and vo­cals, as 1980s soft-rock rhythms rise and fall in the sound mix. But as im­pres­sion­is­tic as the mu­sic may seem, you of­ten don’t have to wade in too deep to find punch-drunk jabs at more straight­for­ward song­writ­ing con­ven­tions.

Causers of This is a synth-pop al­bum at its core, and con­crete ev­i­dence of this can be found in the elas­tic bass, jaunty pi­ano, and sneaky hooks in songs like “Low Shoul­ders” and the vaguely Ste­vie Won­der-es­que “Im­print Af­ter.” The al­bum plays more like a DJ set than a col­lec­tion of 11 sin­gles, and it’s oc­ca­sion­ally dif­fi­cult to find any­thing firm to hold on to. “Fax Shadow,” for ex­am­ple, is a form­less bal­lad that wob­bles in and out of fo­cus, con­vey­ing the bit­ter­sweet sen­sa­tion of try­ing to tune in your ra­dio on the beach. — Robert Ben­ziker

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