This one had the potential to go either way. This self-professed anti-band from Finland have taken it upon themselves to “pay homage to the origins of monotonic umpa umpa” and draw analogies between the monotonous beat of techno and some sort of ritualistic and spiritual undercurrent which comes from this musical genre.
I don’t know why they bothered. The monotonous beat gets under way after a bit of obscure chanting or was it drunkenness? The undercurrent is that of 1990s trance music. It’s hypnotic of course but understated which takes all the life out of it without replacing it with any sort of spiritual sensation, at least not in my ears. There’s a bit of whistling but “History of Techno parts 1 and 2” trundles on like an uneventful train journey. At one stage it opens out like a flower but it’s nothing exciting. Kraftwerk did this in 1970 with “Ruckzuck” but I always felt that that was homage to Germans invading another country. This doesn’t invade anything. Then it slows down and continues its mildly eerie but monotonously steady course. This now reminds me of those Platipus records I used to listen to and enjoy in the late 1990s but again there’s no life or character here. Like an industrial process, “History of Techno parts 1 and 2” cracks on unimaginatively. Someone probably made a lot of widgets but it’s not very interesting. Thank goodness that’s over. We can all go home now.
But no, we have parts 3 and 4 to follow. Rat-a-tat-tat: is that the Crimewatch theme I hear? Now there’s a cosmic edge to this swirling techno but its mind numbing. It’s also dark. It stops, and starts amid obscure sounds while it drearily bleeps on. I almost missed the finish. I’m proud of myself that I was still paying attention. There’s one more track on this EP. It has the zippy title (or anti-title, maybe) “She Time Travels in Every Direction Whenever She Wants”. Not so zippy is the track itself, whose monotonous plodding captures a grey and eventless day. There’s a bit of a spooky rhythm going on in the background and it has a bit of a wistful but ultimately dull feel. I thought I detected faint tones of Kraftwerk’s “Computer Love”. I’m clutching at straws now. It fades into nothing, having never been anywhere in the first place.
This is no advert for techno, but then maybe it wasn’t intended to be. I didn’t find anything spiritual about it, either. I’ll stick to Platipus.
(2/10 Andrew Doherty)