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Old 2nd April 2002   #1
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Super_Collider - Raw Digits review thread

from nuisance music

A Review of Raw Digits by Super_Collider
Writtten by Michael Kemp

Since the electricity & critical acclaim greeting 1999's "Head On", Jamie Lidell & Cristian Vogel (the disparate parts that make up Super_Collider) haven't been idle - spending the last 2 years chasing the muse from Brighton to Berlin to Barcelona - and voyaging back from the furthest reaches of inner space with the stunning "Raw Digits" album.

Now, many people have used up much oxygen in the past bitching about a "music of the future" or lack of thereof, but just when you thought that such a concept was merely copy on an adman's desk - Super_Collider morph in & take you right there, and leave you, dizzy, without maps, to find your way floating formless in the heart of a parallel dance universe.

Initially perplexing, you wake one morning with the finely-crafted music singing in your veins - and what music - finding yourself travelled and blissfully happy. How can such music be simultaneously smooth as silk and totally disorientating?

Jamie's incredible vocal stylings - the boy sings like an angel, albeit a knowing angel and funky as hell - snatches of a disembodied Stevie Wonder (circa "Innervisions") in the Twilight Zone perhaps - and then some - swooping & rising up like a kite on thermal currents of warm air - underpinned by a bed of Vogel's dark Golem electronica.

On paper it looks like it shouldn't work - but dancing with atoms & molecules, it does - exquisite sonic iceflows courtesy of Cristian cascading from ear to ear, speaker to speaker - an arranged marriage in android heaven.

From the opening pulses of "Messagesacomin" ("that you just cannot decipher") to the storming intelligent dancefloor full-on finale of "Collide N Conquer", this is one extraordinary feat of engineering and one mutant motherfucker of a soul experience for mind and body alike, tripping, travelling with light, shapeshifting, seamless - one that no self respecting home should be without.

Ominous footsteps filled with light heralding "In The Beams", the spooky weirdsville & hermit dust that is "Bug Trackin"; the ocean of things falling apart & reassembling in the beautiful "Gravity Rearranging" - impossible to adequately describe - it's sweet soul music, but not as we know it Jim (more fool us. And, as it is often said: a fool and his money will soon party).

Infectious beats for the feet, ghost particles of cosmic dust in the machine, warm love for the soul turned inside out - I feel we are in the presence of something seminal here - and so much fun.

How divine that humanoids, exhausted with recycling & creating makeshift hybrids from past-era industrial refuse, have begun to build their own future, digit by digit.

"And the future? It's already here on this album"
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Old 5th April 2002   #2
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from Knid Times:

Super_Collider - Raw Digits (Rise Robots Rise LP/CD)

This is not a comfortable listen. That's not to say that it's noisy or spikey or clever-clever or any of those boysy things that underground electronica can veer towards; it's a deeply funky and sexed-up thing, kind of like Beck's midnight vultures would be if it wasn't so knock-kneed and self-conscious. It's just that this freaky brew of swampy dubwise post-Timbaland beats, microedited bubbles and squeaks and downright filthy gospel blues vocals sucks you into to an unfamiliar dark and moist world where nothing functions as it should.
Raw Digits will be a shock to the 15 people who heard Super_Collider's debut album Head_On. No big riffs, snarling upfront techno basslines or chanted P-Funk choruses here: instead brooding moodiness reigns supreme; the sound is dreamlike, aquatic, twistedly womby. To be sure, there are funk melody lines here (including the keyboards of Matthew Herbert, and gentle swipes of live guitar), but each part holds it down, giving the whole a real throbbing pressure, releasing only occasionally in needle-fine synthesised sprays or when Jamie Lidell's vocals let loose into zero-gravity gymnastics.
Every track here is endlessly intricate and painstakingly arranged, but nothing sounds forced: it is the sound of a band maturing into their own sound. Though new sounds and rhythms appear in every bar, nothing is there for show, and the sound is utterly coherent. Like Tricky's Maxinquaye, without the unremitting oppressiveness, this is an album out on its own, making a mockery of genre-hugging stick-in-the-muds. If the whims of the music market do not make it massive now, I can guarantee that its influence will be felt a long time into the future.

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Old 11th April 2002   #3
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There's a review at here:

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Old 1st May 2002   #4
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Overload Review

RÂ* AlbumÂ*Â*SUPER_COLLIDERÂ*‘Ra w Digits’Â*(Rise Robots Rise) Â*2002-05Â*
Four years ago I watched a smashed Jamie Lidell roll around the floor in the back of a dingy club with a microphone, his crazed vocal outpouring really testing the bouncers’ patience. I knew then he’d go far. Playing in the other room that night was ex-Brighton cohort Cristian Vogel, and here, on their second long-player together as Super_Collider (Vogel living in Barcelona, Lidell in Berlin), the scruffy collaborators cement their internment in the realms of deranged genius with a classy set of sonic wobblers for No-Future’s new ‘Rise Robots Rise’ imprint. From the jerky strains of the opener, ‘Messagesacomin’, Jamie Lidell’s jaw-dropping smooth vocals cruise the glitchy soup of beats, bass, rattles and tones with a crazed confidence. ‘Closetails’ turns up the funk, injecting a more pronounced two-step twist and some gorgeously complex melodic arrangements before the next cut ‘Bug Trackir’ dubs out in to languid swooning beatscape. ‘Gravity Rearranging’, featuring Matthew Herbert on bass, is perhaps one of the finest moments - an easy-listening gem of modern music fusion combined with Lidell’s killer vox. Elsewhere, ‘Soily Soul’ presses delicate ghostly house rhythms against warming sound collages, ‘In The Beams’ goes midnight shufflin’ and stumbling, and ‘Conquer N Collide’ breathes the relaxed air of drunken futurism you’d only get from locking Subhead, Prince and Craig David in a studio full of Absinthe. It’s all a far, far cry from Lidell’s days of Subhead, or Vogel’s spiky early Tresor releases, embracing an understanding of soul that’d slap Jamiroquai back in his nappies. Super_Collider - purveyors of the skankiest, most soulful dirge ever to dribble out of the underground. Buy on sight.Â*Â*VS
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Old 22nd June 2002   #5
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boomkat, the online independent music shop has a review,
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Old 9th July 2002   #6
Lady E
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Raw Digits Review Independent 24/5/02 by Andy Gill

Raw Digits is one of the years most exciting albums, an innovative fusion of noise and attitude that dispels at once the canard about the intrinsic soullessness of electronic music. Jamie Lidell and Cristian Vogel have both released solo albums before - notably the latter's absorbing Rescate 137- but their work here as Super_Collider is greater than the sum of their parts, its belnd of semi-abstract, glitch funk grooves and Lidell's breathless, agitated crooning recalling earlier techno pioneers such as Suicide and Cabaret Voltaire. Tracks such as "Closetails" and "Spillin Visions", with their jittery beats, oildrum bass tones, dark sheets of syth noise and impassioned soul phrasing, have an itchy noirish quality: a sort of sinister digital ecstasy that's strangely addictive. There's a compelling fascination, too, in the way pieces teeter on the cusp of randomness but somehow slip into dark, infectious forms, like hibernating beasts grappling their way back to consciousness: "Gravity Rearrangin". for instance, opens with ominous bells and and assemblage of abstract synth noises, before oozing imperceptibly into an irresistable electro-funk-soul groove.
Elsewhere, "Soily Soul" is the electro equivalent of Dr John's voodoo classic Gris Gris , a hypnotic, swampy dub-soul exercisie glimpsed through a roiling fug of dope smoke, warmly atmospheric despite being constructed from electronic noise. Ive no clear idea of what Lidell's on about for most of the time, but it hardly matters - its the manner of his delivery , and the way his voice inhabits its sonic territory. that's most important here. Highly recommended.
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Old 4th August 2002   #7
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Raw Digits comes three years after Super Collider's Head On debut and adopts a slightly more commercial posture. The recording sessions were split between Barcelona (Cristian Vogel's adopted city) and Berlin (Jamie Lidell's new home), with other parts laid down in Brighton. This time, the pair have opted for a fragmented hybrid, a swimming funk vision caught through the bottom of an empty beerglass. Palping basslines, clipped beats and extraneous swirling sounds are all contorted into unlikely positions, with most of the cuts featuring vocals by Lidell, albeit heavily processed into alien transmissions. Stateside soul erotica has been filtered through odd minds, to particularly striking effect on the opening onslaught of "Messageacomin" and "Closetails". It's like some steaming Rick James clone has been given a satin-panted carte blanche. Matthew Herbert guests on "Gravity Rearrangin", contributing wayward key-bass, but the most accessible tunes arrive midway, with "Soily Soul" and "Spillin Visions" both slinky and sensuous, exuding a strong aroma of Can, all circling drum patterns and low-bass pulsing. Quite possibly the oddest track comes penultimately, with "Radinations on the Rise" having an almost parodic throat lozenge vocal, devilishly intoning over turbulent background effects.--Martin Longley
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Old 4th August 2002   #8
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From URB Magazine (U.S)

Super_Collider's Jamie Lidell and Cristian Vogel have said that their debut collaboration, 1999's Head On, was intended to be a house album "shot through with echoes from funk past." The lead single from that album, "Darn (Cold Way O' Lovin)," certainly hit that mark with an electro-lastic bass line and sssss-hot warbling by Lidell that fell well within the P-Funk/Gap Band rubric. That being the case, Raw Digits is by all accounts some slicked-up R&B — which is damned funny when you think about the fact that Lidell's last solo album, Muddlin' Gear, was glitch-y experimental rhythm, while Vogel sports a reputation for punching techno among other things.

It's all laid out for consideration on the first track, just like Head On, and goes downhill from there; "Messagesacomin" oozes all the soul Stevie Wonder might muster thanks to Lidell's tawny, echoed vocal delivery. Harmonizing synths beam backup atmospherics and a rubber band bass around the room like nobody's business. There's certainly a nod to Timbaland wrapped up in Raw Digits as well — both these guys put technology to work with Matthew Herbert's bass piano assistance on the sexy ballad, "Gravity Rearrangin." "Bug Trackin'" and "Radianations on the Rise" are most like Head On, both consisting of scratchy, dense sound textures playing off one another as cambering bass and melody parts sprawl across the stereo image like a cat in an afternoon sunbeam. But you can't escape Lidell's vocals on Raw Digits, and that together with the R&B touches makes it a solid step forward from Head On.

Heath K. Hignight

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Old 4th August 2002   #9
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Super Collider "Messagesacomin EP" Rise Robot Rise [12 inch]

Finally the following up to the succes of their "Head on" bomb album which was released on Loaded in '99. Nowadays Jamie Lidell is living in Berlin, while his Super Collider partner Cristian Vogel's being resident in Barcelona and that's why the recording of their upcoming "Raw digits" album has taken place in three countries over the last two years. Jamie Lidell already gained fame with his Electronic releases on U.K.'s Spymania label and Cristian Vogel is known for releases on labels like Mosquito, Tresor and has started the Supramat label where that brilliant Transllusion album recently was released on.
"Messagesacomin" includes the dark noises and funkin' drum programming as we're used to from Cristian with those brittish characteristic of Lidell.
On the B side the new crew ChunKing remixed it into a british flavour with additional backing vocals, while M.D.K.'s remix (who already released two fine albums on Spymania) concentrates more on the original dark noises and added extra keys, breakbeats and a Hashim sample underneath... you could only blame them for being one of their kind. (Dr. Nutcracker)
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Old 5th August 2002   #10
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From the June issue of FrontPage:

Super Collider
Raw Digits
(Rise Robot/ EFA)

Es gibt Platten, die man hört und sofort weiß, dass man es mit etwas Außergewöhnlichem zu tun hat, auch wenn man es nicht sofort versteht. Raw Digits ist eine Soulplatte, die bis ins kleinste Detail arrangiert und durchproduziert ist, ohne den Eindruck zu erwecken, das irgendetwas überflüssig wäre. Im Super Collider Universum ist Christian Vogel Timbaland und Jamie Lidell ist seine Aaliyah, wobei es ungerecht wäre, seine Rolle auf die des Sängers zu reduzieren. Man hat zunächst den Eindruck, dass es sich im besten sinne um eine poppige Platte handeln würde, bis man feststellt, dass sich im Grunde nichts wiederholt. Die für Popmusik charakteristischen repitetiven Strukturen sind aufgelöst, jeder Track entwickelt sich vom Anfang bis zum Schluss, ohne wiederkehrende Muster. Große Platte, für die man sich Zeit nehmen sollte.

Last edited by Tomoki : 5th August 2002 at 10:07.
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Old 5th August 2002   #11
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7 magazine

posted by Mr.Lizard

my review of raw digits in 7 magazine.. ah well, for what it's worth, here it is. couldn't find the review thread but thought you might like to have it for your files anyway:

Super_Collider – ‘Raw Digits’ (Rise Robots Rise)

The second instalment of Cristian Vogel and Jamie Lidell’s magical collaborative project finally arrives - despite the duo now residing half-way across Europe from each other - and once again it puts to shame most of the other music you’re likely to hear this year.
Tracks like ‘Bug Trackin’ require close cerebral attention to sample their true glory: the subtle moods shapeshift around Lidell’s enigmatically beautiful vocals. But others, like ‘Gravity Re-arrangin’, are quite simply low-down, spine tingling soul: sine waves in a smoky room, with the soporific chords jarring pleasantly under the intentionally loose and languorous beats. And then there’s the glitch-factor. Like Head On (the stunning first album) no beat is spliced for the sake of it; no frequency tweaked just for tweaking’s sake. On ‘Soily Soul’, Lidell’s voice morphs into what resembles a radio transmission of a distant female singer, while ‘In the Beams’ blends the mutating self-deconstruction of the beats with some beautiful acoustic licks. Lidell’s late nite voice has never sounded better: outdoing the heights he reached with tracks like ‘Loosen Me Human’ on the first album.
It’s fucked up enough to mess with your head and soulful enough to lock in your heart – their combined musical prowess shining through the whole murky, slinky electronic soup.
This is futuristic robot soul of the highest order – no messin’.

(6 dancing men).

*though they did actually print it as only 5 dancing men... but i submitted it with 6!!
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Old 8th January 2003   #12
Lady E
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a really nice review, and a great site with some text in english too.

Raw Digits
(Rise Robots Rise, 2002)

L'écurie Tigerbeat6 peut aller changer ses couches, les Neptunes feraient mieux de "nerdiser" un peu plus et Warp devrait retrouver l'esprit du label des compiles '(Artificial Intelligence)'... Bref, je veux dire qu'il faudrait remettre Ã* qui de droit le futur du groove. Alors que le "80's revival" bat son plein dans les soirées champagne et coco, l'excellent duo Lidell/Vogel vient se heurter une seconde fois Ã* la complaisance générale avec un ovni musical venu d'une dimension parallèle. Passé quasiment inaperçu aux oreilles du public, leur premier album Head On déployait déjÃ* la puissance de cette collaboration. Trois ans plus tard, la machine est performante et bien rodée. Raw Digits nous immerge dans une funk fractalisée, où les données numériques dansent dans un chaos "jiggadelic". Â*
Comparer le chant de Jamie Lidell Ã* un Prince sous psychotropes ne suffirait pas Ã* lui rendre justice, ce mec est un cas pathologique. A l'instar d'une star de variet' complexée par son fric (ou d'un gigoloboy de strass et paillettes), Jamie éructe des slogans qu'il qualifie d'indéchiffrables, pourtant si sincères. Il voyage avec la lumière et projette son âme dans l'inconnu : une équation donnant un résultat primaire et jouissif. Pendant qu'ODB s'ouvre les veines en prison, il puise dans les recoins de son cerveau des fantasmes désespérés, un héritage de "black music" que peu de gens arrivent Ã* exploiter. LÃ* où certains rappeurs sont en quête de surréalisme, super Jamie vaut déjÃ* plus de 3 milliards de crooners bioniqués et autres abstractions poétiques. De toute façon, ceux qui avaient osé s'intéresser Ã* son album solo (Muddlin Gear) ont pu avoir un aperçu de son univers: un collage de swing pollué par les machines, du pop art post-apocalytique... Un des rares artistes du label Spymania Ã* sortir de l'anonymat (merci Warp).

Esclave du Système d'Opération, Cristian Vogel pousse le "Digital Sound Processing" au Max : il déstructurise ses beats Ã* coups de synthèse granulaire, sans pour autant négliger l'efficacité "danceflooresque" de ses influences. On sent que ce jeune prodige de la tekno est bien imprègné de l'ambiance festive de Barcelone (cf. 'Rescate 137' chez Novamute), ha! En tout cas, on est loin de ses expérimentations binaires aléatoires chez Tresor. Et pourtant, on reconnaît bien lÃ* son empreinte digitale, les bits sont bien crades et pour paraître "hype", je m'aventurerais même Ã* dire que la texture sonore est "crispy clean".

Le travail sur la spacialisation du son nous démontre leurs talents dans l'informatique musicale. Bah oui, bien que la démarche artisanale du groupe sauvegarde l'attitude "Do It Yourself", le son n'est pas "lo-fi" pour un sou, c'est du grand travail d'orfèvre. Les mélodies sont "mellow" comme un fromage virtuel, les "glitchs" n'ont jamais été aussi "smooth" et les séries de Fourier rebondissent dans tout les sens.

S'il fallait que je ne retienne qu'un titre de cet album ça serait sans aucun doute 'Radianation On The Rise'. Produit bâtard d'un Timbaland forniquant avec Gonzales, ce hit de "dark cyber R&B" sonne comme une ode Ã* la défunte Aaliyah. Malgré l'aspect grotesque que ça pourrait avoir, la cohérence de ce morceau tabou est soutenue par suffisament d'effets techno-soniques pour faire pâlir Autechre. Vous pouvez jetter tous vos remix blasphématoires d'Usher ou vos bootlegs incestueux de Craig David, et vous n'aurez plus honte d'admettre que 'Try Again' fait "bouncer" vos neurones sous tétrahydrocanabinol . Il ne faudrait cependant pas éclipser le reste de cette galette cicrculaire (en matière thermoplastique) : chaque morceau est une petite perle, recelant des dizaines d'idées qui mettent Ã* l'amende la majorité de la musique électronique actuelle.

Ces gars connaissent la chanson et ont trouvé l'équilibre entre l'avant-garde technologique et la musique de club : les Glamnerds™ dans toute leur splendeur.

Bien sûr je pourrais vous trouver des défauts Ã* cet album alors qu'il est sorti depuis 6 mois, mais ça n'est pas le but de cette chronique. C'est le temps qu'il m'a fallu pour me rendre compte que c'était un "grower". Même si le dépaysement n'est pas aussi intense qu'Ã* la découverte du premier (quoique...), le manque de reconnaissance et la qualité du projet Super Collider me pousse Ã* m'exprimer sur ce qui pourrait être mon album de l'année.

Funk is not dead !

br0, décembre 2002
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Old 9th January 2003   #13
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here is a quasi review from sonic groove's record list.

RRR 002LP backorder
Label: Rise Robots Rise (Brighton, UK)

Title: Raw Digits
Artist: Super Collider
Brighton, UK

Produced by: Cristian Vogel, Jamie Lidell

Released: 2002

Configuration: vinyl

Tracks: Messagesacomin
Bug Trackin
Gravity Rearranging
Soily Soul
Spillin Visions
In The Beams
Radianations On The Rise
Collide N Conquer

Description: Ultra funkified techno house experimental vocal soul music for those who know. This is GENIUS. ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE.
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Old 13th March 2003   #14
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don't know if anyone mentioned but it was chosen as one of the best albums of 2002 by The wire magazine
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Old 24th April 2003   #15
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From Dusted Magazine

Super_Collider is a collaboration between the talented English producers Cristian Vogel and Jamie Lidell, both of whose solo IDM efforts have brought them well-deserved attention. Their latest offering together, Raw Digits, is an unashamed and obscene sex record whose carnality is shrouded in abstract references to R&B, trip-hop, glitch, and drum ?n bass. Following their 1999 debut Head On, which featured the single "Darn (Cold Way O? Lovin)," the duo continues to tinker with the strange alchemy that allows soul music and fucked-up rhythms to gel successfully.

Raw Digits brings Prince and Squarepusher equally to mind. The vocals suggest a genuine corporeal yearning within complicated mazes of electronic percussion. Vogel and Lidell?s sense of rhythm is impeccable, incorporating risky edits without ever losing an air of effortlessness. This is something few in electronic music or anywhere else can do; Michael Jackson may be the most successful archetype. But the heavy production never drowns out Lidell?s voice, which is powerful enough to demand attention as the centerpiece of most songs. Many people may disagree, but I do not believe that the vocals here are just source material, chopped up and re-arranged like samples. There is a Prince-like perfection in the way that the singing interacts with the instruments. Super_Collider clearly understand that their vocals need not be ruptured just because their music is experimental. On the contrary, the tension is an ideal complement. There are instances where the voice is disconnected, like ?Soily Soul,? on which the words are inaudible and disguised with reverb, but I would hesitate to define this as a unique product of the edginess of IDM. In fact, the track?s approach to vocals is distinctly reminiscent of dub.

In a sense, Super_Collider are similar to His Name is Alive, who make blues or soul in an environment of obsessively good production. But where Warren Defever and Lovetta Pippen tend to obey the rules of R&B and soul music, Super_Collider move further into peripheries of structure and rhythm. Imagine Richard D. James hijacking Defever?s Livonia studio and doing very mischievous things to his songs. The lead-off track, ?Messagesacomin,? is a grease-soaked masterpiece of urgent singing and breakbeat rhythms punctuated by Autechre-esque bleeps and meltdowns. It might even be danceable for those who can anticipate the tempo changes and stark edits.

As unquestionably impressive as the rhythm et al is, though, after multiple listens the singing remains the most vital and memorable aspect of Raw Digits, and may be the most convincing reason for you to make a point of hearing it. Like their predecessors from Stevie Wonder to Jamie Principle and Frankie Knuckles, Super_Collider use soul as conveyed through the human voice as a legitimate complement to experimental production. With both elements executed so earnestly and so well, Raw Digits is indeed worth spending a few evenings with.

By Ben Tausig
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Old 25th April 2003   #16
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05 March 2003
Event Preview: Super_Collider appear at Digital T

Crash Course... Super_Collider should probably be listed as one of the best techno duo acts this alternative music genre has. Made up of Cristian Vogel and Jamie Liddell, the duo have both earned major reputations both in their own right and collectively.
So it is no mean feat then, that Digital T have managed to secure the pair to showcase their unique talents at the Crescent Arts Centre, on University Road Friday 7th March as part of the Digital T festival.
With their rich, and varied take on techno, the experimental duo are expected to stun you both visually and musically.
Whilst their acclaimed debut, Head On (Loaded), featuring the classic single 'Darn Cold Way O' Lovin', was all funked up, Super_Collider's last excursion Raw Digits was pure midnight soul. The moods on the album Raw Digits range from the unexpectedly tender ballad 'gravity rearrangin' to the gothic R'n' B masterpiece that is 'collide n conquer'. With a full spectrum of emotions, Raw Digits has to be one of the year's most memorable albums.
Super_Collider have played live at various international festivals including Transmusicales, Berlin LoveParade, Roskilde, Sonar, the Mannheim Jazz Festival, Digital Convenience (Tokyo) and Big Beat Boutique.
Their live performances feature bassist James Stephenson on bass guitar (from Tummy Touch released band Chungking), Pablo Fiasco on visuals (filmmaker extraordinaire) and Belfast's own Grant Allardyce on drums.

Aine McEntee

Last edited by invisibleplanet : 28th April 2003 at 21:18.
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Old 1st May 2003   #17
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From the All Music Guide

Dance fans hoping for another club-stormer on the order of "Darn (Cold Way O Lovin')" may initially be disappointed by the second Super_Collider full-length, though once it sinks in that this is in no sense a dance record (at least, not on this planet), it's easy to see Raw Digits for what it is: an intriguing, individual work of art by two of the freakiest producers in electronica. One of the most distinctive sounds around hasn't changed too much; not that they worry about copyrights, since it's odds-on no one else could duplicate it. The beats, when they're around, are just as heavy as on Head On, and Jamie Lidell is still doing his paranoid funky-robot impression -- occasionally a dead-ringer for Daryl Hall. And the effects, as before welded to a framework of no-stone-unturned breakbeat electro, are still unholy and completely unrecognizable, like a Kid 606 remix of P-Funk trying to score Forbidden Planet. What's different is that Raw Digits is even less a pop record than the first, much closer to the unhinged Dark Magus clatter of Muddlin Gear, Lidell's solo LP for Warp. Definitely not the Pet Shop Boys then, but a real treat for those who hunger for a genuinely funky record with more ideas per second than Autechre. -- John Bush
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