Charles Manier - Luxus Steroid Abamita

  • Share
  • All of Tadd Mullinix's projects are loaded with personality. As Dabrye, he helped redefine cut-up hip-hop beats. As James T. Cotton, he took acid house's DNA and spliced it with psychedelia and noise to devastating effect. In recent years, James T. Cotton has segued into JTC, a more measured but no less vibrant outpost for house and techno. Another alias, Charles Manier, first emerged in 2002, but it's only in the last few years that the project has come to the fore, with albums in 2013 and 2015. The ingredients of Manier's catalogue—industrial, EBM, synthwave, post-punk—have a vitality that reaches beyond mere imitation. Manier channels the spirit of pioneering acts like Cabaret Voltaire, Test Dept., Severed Heads and Front 242 through a modern arsenal of synths, percussion and effects to make, on Luxus Steroid Abamita, a head-spinning whole. There are lots of muscular sounds on Luxus Steroid Abamita. Thick, sinewy synth lines flex and stretch underneath dense layers of texture on "Plenary Psychic Automatism," which does a handbrake turn into hardcore punk in its last eight seconds. The modulating lead line on "Truest Coffer" spits and snarls in response to the bitter lyrics. "Much more cash than any of us," comes the chant from a ghoulish voice, a sentiment that echoes the political barbs of the post-punk era. Human voices play a key role elsewhere. "Just-World Believers" is led by a dissolving gurgle. On the title track, a disembodied voice is processed until it becomes pure abstraction. The undecipherable yet melodic hook on the synth pop of "Urge To Dive," for all its sonic abrasions, feels strangely upbeat. Luxus Steroid Abamita stands out for the expressive way in which Mullinix wields his tools. Liberal amounts of modulation and processing give his machines an organic yet unsettling quality. The layers are so intricate that it could take lots of repeated listening to peel everything back. This overloaded style, however, is typical of Mullinix's production, where bold, upfront elements jostle for attention. It's testament to his skill that everything in the mix feels balanced. Luxus Steroid Abamita, thrilling and unpredictable, is a refreshing take on '80s electronic music. Present as these influences may be, this is far from throwback music.
  • Tracklist
      01. Just-World Believers 02. Luxus Steroid Abamita 03. Urge To Dive 04. Truest Coffer 05. Hillbrent Crysola Pagoda 06. Lions Of Rojava 07. Plenary Psychic Automatism 08. Mesrop 09. Yopo (Calcium Tree)