V/A, Penguin Mechanics Vol. III

Released: December 1999

The liner notes explain exactly what this album is about: "The mechanics were given nearly complete freedom, with the rough guideline of constructing a track that resembles the machine; possibly combining recorded and synthesized sounds of--klankgrinding, motor whirring, metallic collisions, beeps and buzzes--into rhythmic components." In other words, like Lucky Kitchen's "Blip, Bleep," this album is a concept album; rather than focusing on imaginary video games, however, this album takes as its focus imaginary machines or imaginary scenarios involving machines. Artists like Freeform, V/VM, Pacman, Colonglb, and Octopus Inc take this concept and run with it, and the results are certainly mechanicized, but also a lot of fun. Some of the machines constructed in this 14 track epic include "Full Baz Pts," "Goldbug," "Computercuddle," "Metalo-meld-mechano," "Sandwich Train," "Angry Robot Locked in Compartment Wrenches Itself Free," and "Mechanical Force Resistance at 30mph through Contraflow--driven by the Stranger." Actually, if you are familiar with any of the above artists, or with Kracfive's other releases, then you can probably guess what this disk sounds like: building block songs with lots of white, red frenzy (with a little black noise added in), running from mid-to-hot tempos, instrumentation almost entirely sampled machine sounds and CGD (the difference is minimal), with the occasional synth sound thrown in. This is great stuff, lots of fun and filled with imaginative, inspired ideas. Some of the songs sink a little too far into the industrial noise realm for my taste, but those moments nevertheless make sense within the context of the album. After all, we're talking machines here, and machines make noise.

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