May 1, 2008

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Meat Beat Manifesto, Autoimmune
Metropolis Records, April 8
The ’90s were threatening to occur, and the band Pop Will Eat Itself pronounced that it was time to get ugly. We know now how that came to pass in all the wrong ways — the grunge, the raves, all the other dishwasher-safe ugliness — but meanwhile Meat Beat Manifesto was mashing together everything at once in an effort to be the unsafest ugly thing of all. Their anything-goes magnum opus, “We Got the Fear,” crammed scratching, rap, samples from the movie Dr. Phibes, and the hit-the-brakes scream from “Owner of a Lonely Heart” into a phone booth and then shoved in more stuff. Since then they’ve dabbled in Orb-influenced dance music and jazz fusion, and, as of now, drum n bass, jungle and dub.

This guy (it’s just Jack Dangers now handling the whole smash) has finally not only found his true calling but also caught up with the time he’s been so far ahead of for so long. Certainly there are elements that have been used by many – the wave-modulator stuff, the Cirrus breakbeats – but with depth and cleverness like this it’s hard to tell whether he got his cues from DJ Krust and Ed Rush or the other way around. A Eric W. Saeger