I can (barely ever) say no to reviewing Industrial/Electronica. Especially when it comes in the form of iconic trendsetters like Meat Beat Manifesto who return to celebrate over thirty years of music-making bliss with a new album that also happens to be their first new full-length in almost seven years (Barring the “tour only” EP released recently). In other words, there’s a lot to celebrate with the release of Impossible Star.
But I digress.
Impossible Star isn’t so impossible to pin down if you grew up with the bleeps and boops of MBM but for all you kiddies out there: If you like Trip-Hop or Drum and bass or love the works of Nine Inch Nails, The Prodigy, UNKLE, and countless others then get ready for a lesson in where it all began!
“ONE” is eerie and sinister and ethereal and all of the things, laying the groundwork for what’s about to happen when “Bass Playa” comes out of left field with the GROOVE and really gets the party started. After that one-two punch, MBM get down to the business of the task at hand which is, quite simply, blowing your minds with beat after beat of exquisitely crafted tracks that are each ripe for the dance floor in their own way.
Then “Lurker” pops up just over halfway through with a rather meaty (heh) sonic detour that lasts for almost 15 minutes….and what a detour it is! Like this crazy ever-flowing mixtape that just appears in the middle of an already flowing body of music, the track just owns. Back to reality, “T.M.I.” is a groove-filled throbber that pulsates with a mechanical heart and enraptures listeners even more with these hypnotic vocal lines.
“Nereus Rov” is so deep and concise for an instrumental and almost reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails mid-’00’s work (Think Year Zero) while “Synthesizer Teste” serves as the perfect antithesis to that one bringing some levity out of the dark. Seamlessly appearing next is “Rejector” which is just ambient awesome and something that would easily heighten any Ridley Scott sci-fi flick with a sense of wonder or dread. “The Darkness” wraps things up leaning more towards sounds of wonder with a track that embraces the beats then just as quickly drifts headfirst into space.
In conclusion: Meat Beat Manifesto is back!