CD, AEntitainment, 2008
Mic Irmer is hardly a newcomer to the music world, if one is to judge from available information. Active as a musician since the mid-80s, initially as the mutating project Consequence, and now under the alias Moogulator, an experimental electronica/IDM project (and a few other side-projects as well). Irmer is also a synthesizer specialist by trade (and passion), something that becomes readily apparent when listening to “The Digital Anatomist Project.”
On first listen, this album may well be a disconcerting experience, especially for those who are not familiar with fractured rhythmic structures, glitch and seemingly random sound compositions – others may find themselves in familiar territory but barely so. Either way, “The Digital Anatomist Project” is not an easy album to get into. Listening to it, I get a feeling that someone is showing off expert skills and knowledge with a series of instruments, pushing them to the limit; in short, composing music based on a test-driving approach. Though this is as valid an approach to sound composition as any other, it has its pitfalls, one of them being allowed to let the instruments ‘dictate’ the path that is followed while making music, and not the other way around.
And this is where I think Moogulator fails. While Irmer may have an extensive knowledge of synthesizers, clearly showing a capacity to create rich and deep sound elements with his machines, the overall sound of the album’s compositions suffer from a certain repetitiveness in their basic structure. Also, some compositions would certainly benefit from a more evident melodic component, as well as more attention to detail. However, when taken individually, this is not so apparent. There are even some genuinely engaging tracks that stand out from the ensemble of “The Digital Anatomist Project,” tracks like “Blurred Faces,” the opening “Frozen and Locked” and the very bass-heavy “Amoebatrons.”
“The Digital Anatomist Project” is not a bad album by any means, and it has its moments of brilliance, which could be further explored. Also, if more care would have been given to the sum of the parts and into increasing the actual flow of the album, it might have broader appeal without any need to sacrifice artistic integrity.
— Miguel de Sousa