Online since August 2002

Finding the limits of music

Reviewed April 2008

By Meat Beat Manifesto

Metropolis: 2008

To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.

Taking the remix mentality of early pioneers like Bill Laswell and applying it to hip-hop and electronica, Meat Beat Manifesto has served a launching pad for fusions of technology and out-there music for the past 20 years. The new studio release of what has become the vehicle for Jack Dangers finds him sampling radio broadcasts and musical snippets and mixing them up with electronic doodlings.

And, okay, that previous paragraph doesn't exactly sound like an endorsement, at least not for something most people would want to buy or listen to.

But the thing about "Autoimmune" you should most know is that it's a fun listen. Dangers has captured, or perhaps only held onto, that sense of curiosity that marked experimental music in the 1960s and '70s. This isn't about anger or politics – it's about finding the limits of what constitutes music, pushing a bit past it, then pulling back and trying a different direction. The songs here have melodies and structure; it never devolves into noise or the sort of self-aware nonsense that too often passes for "experimental" music.

Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).

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