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Here's a review from the Sydney Morning Herald:
Bernard Zuel finds pain, love and warmth in the cool electronic sounds of theHEAD.
There's often beauty in the cold face of electronic music, though it can be hard to access. The smooth and impenetrable surfaces allow you to project your own concepts; and sometimes they allow you to separate yourself from emotion when there's too much of it elsewhere in your life.
But what will always suck me into electronic music is a feeling there is more than binary codes, formulas and precision behind it. I think I can blame my first exposure to Kraftwerk for this. They showed me that the metronomic and mechanical can have heart and pain and love if you allow yourself to feel. TheHEAD's Cubic Meters is a deeply satisfying album - misspelling of metres aside; they're not even American - for just such reasons.
The elements are straightforward enough. There's a cross current of the Chicago school of post-rock (marimbas, synths and programmed beats weaving around each other), krautrock (clattering percussion and rolling basslines that lean towards a cool funk) and that lovely water-cooled Japanese texture. For the full picture, add occasional vocoder vocals and some odd samples.
These elements aren't likely to stop you in your tracks so you can admire the handiwork. Not because the mix isn't well done, but because it's not breaking new ground. But Ben Turley, Scott Herbert and Tom Taylor - the three heads of theHEAD - bring an element of warmth and humanity to the mechanics that makes Cubic Meters different.
Although there are no extremes, the moods are far from static. Some tracks bubble away with hints of menace, some pulse with the drive of the Saturday night imperative and several cheekily toss a smile at you. Dancing is possible, too, as long as you're not looking to bang your fingers in the air.
If you choose to withdraw slightly, Cubic Meters can function as a background, though that would be wasting its strengths.
Better to flow in and out of the atmosphere - take some of it in, let some of it wash over you, and you may find a different aspect engages you each time.
Like this? Try these: Miles Davis, Filles de Kilimanjaro; Radiohead, Amnesiac; Manitoba, Start Breaking My Heart
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