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Hell – Munich Machine

Label: Disko B/V2 Format: CD,2LP

Hell - Munich MachineAdopting an international playboy persona to rival Yello‘s for its ridiculous embrace of the notion of artist as fantsatic sportsman, Bond-age lover and all-round suave entertainer, DJ Hell bundles together a collection of tunes which restore the front to upfront. From the paen to its author from a West Coast American female voice of “This Is For You” to the bizarre cover of “Warm Leatherette,” Hell(mut Geier) brings the sound of Munich Techno into the Nineties – by incorporating pastiche, humour, covers and as many other genres as possible. There are vocoded vocals on the stomping heavily phased Electro grooves of “For Your Love” and the noirish, sleazy “Dominatrix”; there’s tacky Disco too, from Hell’s own Housey “Berimbau,” which shows that at least the influence of Giorgio Moroder lasts forever, to Barry Manilow‘s “Copa” – which is about as whacked out as you can get without actually being Manilow in the first place.

In fact, with the egregious sleevenotes and the infectious grooves, it’s almost enough to convince that Hell is serious about the coke and champagne lifestyle he both parodies so mercilessly and revels in with the best of the ecstatic hedonists. What helps is the flagrant display of confidence in his beats, his arrangements, the full-tilt willingness to turn the cheese factor up to eleven and drop a break for a hands-in-the-air interlude, and then back it with a choice selection of very deep bass noises and effects. It’s not all pulsing Dairylea though; No More‘s “Suicide Commando” jumps through some funky breaks and Industrial klang with another vocoded lyric, this time filtered through a batch of effects for that underwater feel, while “Bass Mechanic” lumbers in floor-shaking style through some sub-bass moves and cunning edits and unexpected interludes, let down only by the gratuitous sax.

Munich Machine manages to be both mindlessly body-oriented and archly clever at the same time, subtly slipping a surprise move into the well-worn fabric of Techno on the odd occasion. Is it Intelligent dance music, jet-set hedonistic excess gone decadent, or just the raised eyebrow of an (self-styled) roué showing the kids how (he thinks) it should be done?

-Freq1C –

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