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Rviewed by: Vital
Date: 1998


Two CD's for the price of one; at least for the first thousand purchasers. Included with this studio CD is a live disc with two tracks. The press release (but not the packaging) suggest that listeners use the Random/Shuffle knob on their players to get the most out of the 'dead' (studio) CD, which has 60 tracks and certainly benefits from this instruction. I have listened to it a few times in as a linear composition, and must say that I really like the way it starts off, dragging itself, staggering, into unholy life. However, I found that it lacked the structural surprises of earlier FM stuff, when played from top to bottom, and it certainly works best by following the user's instructions once the beats drop in. Random/Shuffle generates a wild hysteria which I think is synonymous with FarmersManual music. As always, it's the crushed rhythm patterns that make this music such a pleasure, plus seeing the horrified expression on your best chum's face when his speakers rupture and disembowel themselves through the bass ports like so many Ebola victims. It's a bit like connecting two power cables to the same machine. Lovely, crunchy, over-excited bursts of unrestrained machines enjoying the pain being inflicted on them. Occasionally I had the feeling I was listening to the Residents after they had taken the wrong kind of drugs, or perhaps the TeleTubbies? when they've had theirs taken away from them. The 'live' CD contains two tracks, which consist of masses of digital stretches layered over each other and which come across more as an electro-acoustic exercise in demolition with less attention paid to the beats. Well worth getting and shuffling loud. (MP)


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