- With the word "industrial" hanging thick in the air, 2013 seems like the perfect time for a reappraisal of Terence Fixmer's 2001 debut LP, Muscle Machine. The French producer's repurposing of his beloved EBM doesn't quite fit the template favoured by the recent industrial techno revivalists. Instead, its gaudy, razor-edged melodies and bombastic drums toy with a theatrical extremity verging on camp. Just so with the previously released "Warm" and "Rage," which find a new home on this single for Fixmer's Planete Rouge label. The former evokes a sci-fi dystopia of sorts, but its synth riffs and tinny cyborg proclamations are definitely more Total Recall than Alien. The latter is a little more po-faced, its metallic churn coming across like a cartoonish spin on vintage Downwards, though the effect is dampened somewhat by workmanlike structuring.
A pair of remixes streamline Fixmer's vision, but don't drastically improve it. Regis' revision of "Warm," which rolls along on a broken-beat chassis, is typical of his latter-day style. The atmospherics are reduced to ghostly smears, obscured from view by a glistening hi-hats and clipped percussion—a much-needed recourse to subtlety, though it's difficult to shake the sense that he has quietly flicked on the autopilot. Finally, Russian producer Alexey Volkov's version of "Rage" might be the dank, minimalist yin to the original's histrionic yang, but the effect on the listener—clenched jaw, sweaty palms—is much the same.
A2 Warm (Regis Remix)
B2 Rage (Alexey Volkov Remix)