ALBUM: Forgotten on the Other Side of the Tracks
LABEL: Tympanik Audio
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
Just a year after releasing the dense electronic masterpiece Elekatota: The Other Side of the Tracks, prolific producer Frank Mokros returns with this companion CD, featuring previously unreleased material from the recording sessions of the first two Totakeke albums. This doesn't feel like leftovers, though; if you didn't know the story behind it, you'd just assume this to be a brand new album. It's perhaps a little colder than Mokros' previous release, the multiple layers of synthesizers less prominent, the mechanized buzzes, clicks, whirs and beats of tracks like "Cry for Help" and "Dead Set on Living" more in the foreground. As track titles like "Euthanasia" and "Pull the Plug on Your Faith" suggest, it's also moodier, moving deeper than the bittersweet melancholy and loneliness of previous offerings straight into deep depression and morbid thoughts. Tracks like "Plug Me Back In" are rich but frigid; there's no emotional succor to be had from these glassine synthesizers and cavernous washes of reverb. Still, that's not to say that there's no melody here; Mokros puts majestic strings to good use on "Strangl(_d)" and weaves evocative atmospheres on "Jetee," a brooding but immersive piece that recalls Future Sound of London's Dead Cities album. In addition to his own unreleased treasures, Mokros also includes several collaborations; "The Things that Disappear When I Close My Eyes" is presented here remixed by both Pandora's Black Book and Lucidstatic, the former a cold, cavernous composition that's more sorrowful than directly ominous, the latter a slowed down rhythmic noise offering laced with static and chopped, panning synths. Fellow New York producer Terrorfakt also shows up with a remix of "Left at the Station" that's uncharacteristically brooding rather than violent, though it still makes good use of feedback-laced beats. A perfect companion to Totakeke's previous masterpieces, this is essential listening for Frank Mokros fans, but it's so cohesive an album it also works even if it's your first exposure to his work.
For more information about Frank Mokros, visit the Totakeke MySpace page at www.myspace.com/elekatota.
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