Reviews

Meat Beat Manifesto

Engineering postindustrial dub since the mid-Eighties, when he founded production conduit Meat Beat Manifesto with former partner Jonny Stephens, British expat Jack Dangers is a self-proclaimed, self-medicated OCD sufferer. And it has shown. He's amalgamated a free-jazz sensibility with a hip-hop aesthetic, peppering in political overtones and unintentionally helping germinate the prototypes for genres big beat and breakbeat hardcore along the way (an influence traceable all the way to contemporary dubstep).

It becomes clear from his off-center, disparate juxtapositions that rearranging context is Dangers's hallmark. From the spectral signatures of this latest album, however, it seems improbable that he will be able to escape the context he has established for MBM.

Autoimmune's 14 tracks play out as a sort of unofficial stylistic greatest hits. Visceral, almost-queasy bass distends; decaying oscillations ricochet from syncopated percussion; and gargled vocal samples percolate in a deceivingly entrenched yet trenchant midrange strafed by flanged tones. Dangers both serrates and salves within the same track, working his spooked parlance with the assurance of a veteran orator. The accent(s) may be familiar, but Dangers still has much to say.

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Tony Ware