- Pan-O-Rama marks a milestone for Anja Schneider's Mobilee label as it is the first artist album on the imprint. It's fitting that Pan-Pot have been chosen to launch this particular rocket as they've probably contributed more essential moments to Mobilee than any other artist thus far. There's nothing remotely compromising about this record though, which is refreshing. Pan-Pot, a.k.a Tassilo Ippenberger and Thomas Benedix, have been given carte blanche to do things entirely their own way, which makes for uncomfortable but ultimately compelling listening.
I must have listened to this album at least five times now and I'm still trying to grasp its idiosyncracies. 'Charly' featuring guest vocalist Hugh Betcha stands out a mile and is an obvious choice for first single with its distorted, comic-sinister vocals - an emerging trend it would seem: Ambivalent and Marc Houle being two other artists who have recently gone down the same route. It's an anti-drug song obviously sung by those who have dabbled...or is it? Maybe they're just telling it like it is. It's got the bounce though, no doubt about it. 'Apocalyptic Horseman' that follows takes things right down into the murky depths, and doesn't give a toss about keeping up momentum. 'Crank' sounds great. Menacing and atmospheric, it's the sound of rampantly commercial dancefloors being bulldozed and defiled. It's sharp-edged Basic Channel crossed with Edgar Allen Poe's 'The Tell-Tale Heart.'
'Faces' featuring deep house don Vincenzo is by far the album's warmest moment and closes the CD on a more reflective note. Could we be concluding with a glimpse of future directions for Pan-Pot? I doubt it. At it's best this album recalls vintage Plastikman and an altogether darker Mood II Swing. But it can be an intimidating listen. The first few tracks, from 'ThreeSixty' to 'Black Fusion' collectively had me thinking of David Lynch's 'Eraserhead.' There's an industiral throb that pervades the whole CD, endowing it with a closeness that almost suffocates. I like it, but I'm not enamoured of it.
2 Ape Shall Never Kill Ape
3 Dog's Dinner
4 Black Fusion
6 Apocalyptic Horseman
8 Hypnotized Shark
9 Moving Space