Reviewed in Brutal Resonance
Dance, you miserable bastards, dance. With a well placed loop here, a curiously abrasive break there and vast swathes of advanced processing, Belgium’s Cruise [Ctrl] get the party started and then burn it to the ground. It’s so nice to have an album flex it’s muscles without idiotic cliches. This band are quiet, almost contemplative and they don’t need to prove anything to anyone. I remember when many other bands had the idea of accomplishing their objectives without spewing slogans or sampling moronic movie dialogue. At first listen, I didn’t think all that much but with each successive play, ‘How’s Annie?’ ground down my resistance because it is, among other things, not some effervescent disc of bubble gum pop nor is it an out and out noise album. We have here something which is a bit of a hybrid stretched between the worlds of abrasion and wonderfully anarchic techno. Think of Plateau’s ‘Music for Grass Bars’ release and then add a few more layers of sound.
That’s how Annie is, kiddies. It’s got the punch of an EBM record without the sap or ego and it has the mechanically inhuman assault of some of Detroit’s most fondly remembered vinyl. You will move to what you hear when the beat sets it off and you will be goddamn happy about it; here’s what makes me giddiest when I’m grooving along to what these boys have put out: no vocals. The machines have taken over and are running the show, there’s no space in this well designed auditory theater for them, so if you want insipid anthems about a dystopian “future”, look elsewhere. Yeah yeah, I know what you’re saying… what’s with you and the scorn towards lyrics.
No one really has much to say anymore and it’d be nice if more people would stop thinking they have anything interesting in their head and shut up. There’s a lot of huffing and puffing on the internet about the “future” of certain kinds of music but this duo instead of wallowing in that banal morass shrug it off like the bullshit it is and play to their strengths. It’s almost primal how the rhythms get so much done when there’s so little to them. Nothing is over thought or executed in any sort of calculating way. As Portion Control have shown this century, you don’t have to fill up every channel if you’ve got the chops to get your point across. These fellows have obviously been paying attention to that detail and let me stress that while they sound nothing like PC, the uncompromising approach is quite similar.
It’s time to get to work, ladies and gentlemen. Put on your best pair of kicks and prepare to seriously get down and afterwards, soak in the venomous assortment of remixes which conclude the proceedings. Oil 10 strike yet again with a version which must be heard to be believed. There’s also a remix which has got to be an ode to the Roland 303 and makes me want to pop, lock and drop. ‘How’s Annie?’ does not surge nor does it pummel with bombast; it’s the moment when you stop accelerating and glide across time and space with an elegantly refined ease that leaves everyone else in the dust.
8/10 Peter Marks