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Sylvie Marks & Hal9000 - Krazeee

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Artist: Sylvie Marks & Hal9000

Album: Krazeee

Label: Bpitch Control

Review date: Mar. 15, 2005

The debut long-player from Berlin-based Frankfurt transplants Sylvie Marks and Hal9000 belies the eclecticism hinted at by its inkjet graffiti title. But what is Krazeee about the disc may actually be the breadth of techno templates tested. Across its 13 tracks, Marks, a DJ by trade, and the suitably named man-machine anonym Hal9000 solder together enough electro tangents – New Order rhythm roulettes, white-label squelch, Speicher-sized beats, scrambled tones – to ensure durable tracks for their own transeurope express. Alas, it proves a dull ride.

Playing the blonde femme fatale to label boss Ellen Allien’s raven-haired Plathitudes – though it’s the former who’s responsible for a song entitled “Masturbation While Menstruation” – Marks’s deadpan coos and sighs on “Jupiter Sex,” “Kiss Me” and “Die Blume” downgrades their otherwise prime robot pop to the level of Tantric books on tape accompaniment. New single “My Computer Eats an Acid Trip” fares better with Marks refracted deep within the game grid and skittering through its zeros&ones twilight zone. But it’s opener “Blütenpass” that best integrates her flat voice by eschewing softcore mimesis in favor of PA system poetry.

Elsewhere “Wir Sterne” grinds and squeals like four different Rephlex a-sides played simultaneously while the title track cruises from the German capital down to the Ivory Coast in five tan-inducing minutes. “Steppenwolf” is more Hesse head-trip than heavy metal, albeit in ringtone ready form. “Unreachable” switches gears several notches downtempo for some quasi trip-hop melancholia but it’s the ghost-voiced “Somebody,” with Marks in Genesis P. Orridge drag, that’s the genuine Bristol bum out. Were it not for the tacked-on closer “We Are Electric” serving as an open invitation for future fun, Krazeee may have slipped away soundly on laser guided etherea but instead it’s the mushy middle sandwiched between Bpitch’s far crispier slices of computer confections.

By Bernardo Rondeau

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