Album Reviews

MIT – Coda

(Half Machine) UK release date: 17 March 2008

MIT - Coda If you try to pinpoint the exact moment that electronic music made its mark on popular culture, more often than not you will find yourself stood opposite the Kraftwerk section in your local music store (providing your local music store isn’t HMV or Zavvi as they seem to be bereft of any decent music at all these days).

Being an electronic band being German, MIT will almost certainly drawn comparisons with the likes of Kraftwerk and Neu, and with some justification. However, there’s more to MIT than coincidental geography the knowing one end of a synth from another. MIT’s music doesn’t sound as if it comes from a particular country, nor a particular movement within electronica.

For example, opening track Beispiel fades gently into life like a chilled out ambient anthem before giving into a beat that sounds like a helicopter landing in a warzone. So far so trancey, but this is stuff to lose yourself in and just as you’re starting to do that the drumming turns tribal and Edi Winarni steps up to the mic and turns the whole thing punk.

While the music is not anchored to its place of origin, the vocals are. If the thought of German vocals turns you off, then don’t panic because (sorry Edi) they are entirely secondary to what is happening musically.

There are nods to various contemporaries through out the album. Suicide would seem to be an influence on Gebaut, while the glitch filled worlds of Aphex Twin and Autechre are acknowledged through out. It goes without saying then that MIT are accomplished at taking the minimal and turning it into something that sounds huge and full of depth.

The simple ideas that fuel the likes of Gibt Es Denn Keine Anderen Grunde roll together to create a web that is barely tangible but which is entirely bewitching. Even the two minute drone (and I thought good drone lasted about twenty minutes) of Kleur is clever enough to hold the attention rather than seem as a throwaway gap filler.

It’s not all clever compostion and chin stroking though, MIT also know how to write a great dance tune. Rauch is guaranteed floor filler, hugely indebted to Orbital and X-Ray Specs, while Park features a drum pattern that sounds like an amphetamine fuelled army practice drill to the soundtrack of a gothic Pet Shop Boys.

Admittedly there are times that the vocals can become a bit of a strain and you wish they’d emulate the likes of their contemporaries Holy Fuck, but there’s no denying that Coda is an excellent album which manages to stay minimal while simultaneously bursting with ideas.

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