CD, Vendetta Music, 2009
Mono-amines, as they appear in neurochemistry, are crucial in bringing the brain to a state of adrenaline and euphoric rush. It is thus only a fitting name for the brainchild of Dutch DJ Joost G., as his second LP offering, “Like A Machine”, is single-minded in its efforts to bring about the same states to any listener willing to give it a spin.
From the first opening moments of “Rythem”, the disc does away with any pretence as to what’s in store. Complex and fast-paced drumwork prepare the way for barrages of rhythmic noise, letting waves of synths and sample to clear off whatever is still left unswept by the intensity of the record’s sound. The level of dedication and effort in the musicianship is evidently high, with the album showcasing a variety of influences and directions for the Mono-amine sound, such as the slower-paced, hard industrial divergence of “Lecture Me, Override Me” and “Advanced Rythm”, or the Bong-Ra styled cybergrind pummeling of “It Runs Through My Veins”.
Other than the variety, there’s also a certain confidence that emanates from the sheer length of some of the tracks. In a genre that is plagued too frequently by the pitfall of repetitiveness, Mono-amine dares to push the 16-minute title track right next to the beginning of the album, and pulls it off masterfully, with a track that would have met with nothing less than frantic thrashing and applause as a live medley at any relevant gig, retaining the overall feel of the track while shifting around the more cosmetic elements of sound in an entrancing and positively powerful manner.
The main gripe, though perhaps a somewhat pedantic one, is the placement of tracks around the album, which may feel somewhat imbalanced with the longer length tracks putting maybe too much weight at the first part of the record, potentially discouraging a casual listener that will scan over the record’s contents. Other than that, “Like a Machine” is as solid as a power noise record can get, with an exemplary balance of variety in sound and focus in strength.
— George Mouratidis