V/A, Met@Music

Force Inc.
Released: November 2000

2000 was apparently the year experimental electronic music started to put aside the weird, Autechre-esque noise noodling and concentrate on complex rhythms and dance grooves. Force Inc.'s newest compilation is case in point. Granted, Force Inc. is far more techno oriented than its cousin Mille Plateaux, but the two labels share rosters. Hence, artists like Vladislav Delay, Stewart Walker, Jake Mandell, Tomas Jirku, and others--artists who are traditionally weirder than techno--are found here. Hence, the "techno" we hear is far weirder than most techno. There is more dissonance, more abrupt shifts in tempo and groove, and more "experimentation" with sound and melody on tracks by Mandell and the rest than you'll hear on, say, a regular dancefloor. And that's why I love this album. There are tracks like Jasper & Kit Clayton's "Surge" which follow every techno convention--pulsing 144bpm rhythm, bridges of echoing synths, and so on. But the song also plays with these conventions--making the synth lines blur and mutate into distorted vocals, letting the beat fall apart on several occasions, only to return in a different form. Or consider Sutekh's "Short Change," which is an incredibly simple techno track at first, which then builds into something far more abstract and more interesting. All in all, this is an excellent example of taking conventions and working them into something very interesting.

Force Inc. Web Site

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