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Mana Erg – Idiosyncratic

Mana Erg - Idiosyncratic

CD, XBDA, 2011

Bruno de Angelis, the musical mind behind Mana Erg, returns after many years with his blend of moody electronics via “Idiosyncratic”. Merely the title of the intro track “The Clock is Dead”, is enough to bring back fond memories of “The Blind Watchmaker”, his previous album, which I also had the joy of writing about.
“Idiosyncratic” as a record proves to be true to its name, presenting a rather alien soundscape with its neurotic, high-pitched synths and chimes layered over drum work that’s punchy without lapsing into monotonous waves over waves of bass. A notable exception in sound and feel is “Slowly Burning Flannel”, where the very prevalent bass guitar lends a quite unexpected funk element, which combines neatly with the overall weirdness of the album’s sound.
Sadly, the placement of various spoken samples throughout the album steals from the presence of the music itself, shifting focus somewhat heavy-handedly from the extraordinary sounds on display to comparatively trite messages and symbolisms, in a manner contrary to what I feel is the purpose of this album: to provoke a different range of emotion and thoughts for each listener.
While neither harsh nor particularly danceable, the album remains intriguing precisely because of its queer and, well, idiosyncratic nature, which clearly separates it from your average glitchy electronics. Definitely not as appealing to the mainstream a record as “The Blind Watchmaker”, it still works on its own merit as a more experimental expression of Bruno de Angelis’ work.


— George Mouratidis

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