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Review of: EXPLORERS_WE
Rviewed by: The Sound Projector (UK)
Date: ~ 1998

"Dance music for the clinically insane. This is experimentation of such mad extremes that you sometimes wonder why other lesser people in the field are even bothering. War Arrow just heard it and sat here transfixed, delighting in the fact that 'everything was going completely wrong' and that it was virtually impossible to connect the machine-driven illogical noises with anything human beings might do. It reminded him of the qualities he always admired in favourite industrial music. Personally I love every minute of it, and I like the way Farmers Manual can still annoy some people who consider themselves broadminded musically, yet they will lose patience after only a few minutes with what they hear as aimless and formless self-indulgence. Why not simply surrender to the outrageous wit and be entertained by the sheer daringness of the deranged adventures here catalogued?

On the other hand, it's not hard to see why this might be construed as somehow alienating. As suggested above, its inhuman; at no point does this music ever resemble anything like the sound of a drum or programmed bass or even a comforting piano sample. Instead, rhythms (of a sort, at any rate) are generated from weird loops, or volume knobs applied to amplifier hum, skipping CDs, and great gobs of deadly reverb and echo applied like fertiliser with fiendish glee by the Farmers boys. Verily, it seems like every electronic available to the modern music-maker becomes a plaything for mischief in their hands - all part of the gigantic toy train-set that must be wrecked. The cumulative result of this is frigtening - it will undoubtedly warp many a young mind. It is a Chinese puzzle of unfathomable, evil, random-generated nonsense which strands the hapless listener in the furthest reaches of the Back of Beyond. Just right for a night of 'You Call That Music?!' with the Radio 3 Mixing It boys.

A double CD set, of which Explorers_We has been embedded with 60 index points; if you have a random-play facility you can take part in the general insanity by making even more chaos from the debris. The 2nd live disc comprises two recordings from some obscure festivals in Europoe, described as 'computer mediated...live Jam human triggered parameter changes'. All I can say is I'm surprised they got away with doing it in a public place without being lynched, but then its comforting for me to hear such far-flung eccentricity thriving in a world where the Normals are gaining more ground every day."

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