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faith in the future
Überzone
Faith in the Future
Astralwerks.

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Buy it at Insound!


Faith in the Future's virtuoso techno performance is like an all-you-can-eat BBQ smörgåsbord: meaty, spicy and full of variety. It's no wonder I love it. The CD opens with a voiceover -- "He hoped to arouse (the) kind of enthusiasm for fresh and dynamic innovations." -- which is an ambitious, albeit fairly conventional goal. However, Überzone -- aka Q -- succeeds, turning nu skool techno into a ferocious party in a way that hasn't been done for years.

Q has pulled in some highly talented guest artists to rap and create samples for remixing. "2Kool4Skool", which features Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force, is already a successful single; it appears here for its first time on a full-length. The song's highly inventive breakbeats keep the promise of innovation made in the first track. Funky "Little Dragon" features Karen Lo singing in English and Chinese along with heavy breakbeats, slow hand drums and simple synth melodies. The other of the two cool-down tracks, "Dreamtime", comes five songs into the album, suggesting that Q has sequenced the album with dancing in mind. A fairly common lyrical theme in ambient techno, "Dreamtime" is given surprising life with bubbly beats; although slow by comparison to the rest of the CD, the beats here are too swift for slumber.

The only track that didn't absolutely bowl me over with happiness is the title cut, which sounds like Vangelis trying to appeal to the 20-something market. I had to wipe my tongue off after that song.

Don't miss Beenie Man on "Science Fiction"; the cross between nu skool techno, funky breakbeats and a Jamaican accent are like listening to Brad Pitt doing a Jamaican accent, mon -- hilarious. All respect to Beenie Man, whose voice is thick and rich as Devonshire cream -- it's just an odd juxtaposition of a frenetic musical genre with a traditionally laid-back one. What's even harder to believe is that it somehow works, although this track is not as well suited to slamming on the dancefloor.

Überzone's constant changeups in style and tempo breathe fresh life into a stale genre. This album --and its maker -- are enough to give fans Faith in the Future.

-- Jenn Sikes
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