Oliver Taranczewski loves Star Wars. Not only did the T.O.Y. keyboardist name his solo project after a reference from the film series, he also used it as an inspiration for many of the tracks on his debut album. “Yavin’s Orbit,” like the name of the band itself, takes its name from a location in the first film, and “Traveller” describes a journey to Luke Skywalker’s home planet Tatooine. But what about the music itself? Fortunately, it’s more than just an excuse to sing about the Millennium Falcon. Though rooted in EBM, Yavin 4’s sound also reveals a fondness for progressive techno, and thankfully it has little to do with the preprogrammed trance arpeggios everyone else is using these days. “Dream Operator” is an infectious blend of EBM, funky breaks and rich melodies, while the drum ‘n’ bass-tinged “Solid Extension” is more minimal, bringing the rhythms to the forefront rather than the synth textures. “We Have Electric Sheep,” a reference to eccentric science fiction author Philip K. Dick, proves that Taranczewski’s interests go beyond George Lucas, and it’s a tumultuous mix of psychedelic samples and electro that doesn’t take itself quite as seriously as your typical piece of club fodder. Because this is a German EBM album, there is the obligatory Hellraiser reference on “Liberate Tutemae (Ex Inferis)” – the one track on the album that ventures into scary territory rather than outer space – while “Alien Intruder” conjures up visions of extraterrestrial apocalypse over a melodic, high-BPM dance assault. There are also several bonus remixes, including a crunchy, noisy mix of “Solid Extension” by Pzycho Bitch and a joyously old school version of “Traveller” by DJ RAM. Unabashedly reveling in space opera imagery, this album is a treat for science fiction geeks everywhere, and a refreshing change from the overly spooky or melodramatic approach of so many other bands.
Use the Force and set your hyperdrive to www.central-industrial.de to plot a course to Yavin 4.
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