CD, Hands Productions, 2009
Released a few months ago on the German label Hands Productions, “Redefining the Paradigm of Bang” is the debut release of 13th Monkey, the newest brainchild of Andreas Thedens better known for his work bridging noise and more ‘conventional’ industrial music with the KiEw project.
Despite a few hints of the KiEw sound, with 13th Monkey Thedens throws away any pretense of subtlety and adopts a very straightforward approach. This is an album entirely geared for harder dancefloors: intense, high b.p.m. count, strictly 4-to-the-floor beats (using the same kick as the base to most tracks) with the odd sample, 8-bit hint and layer of distorted elements to provide some welcome variety and momentary focus shift. Conceptually, it may even be regarded as the rhythmic noise interpretation of psy-trance and that’s probably a very apt description as well.
Unfortunately, “Redefining the Paradigm of Bang” suffers from the exact problem which, more often than not, is found in way too many dance-oriented full-length albums or compilations. Despite what seems like a subtle increase in complexity as the album progresses, taken as a whole, it feels too repetitive and formulaic – something that is less evident and more tolerable when tracks are taken singularly.
At the end, there’s an impression that this is something that would be extremely effective and fun in a packed dancefloor setting (preferably played live). Surely, scene-specific prime DJ material but, for home or casual listening, it will have limited appeal or revisitation potential (unless you’re a sucker for 4/4 beats).
— Miguel de Sousa