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Christ. - Metamorphic Reproduction Miracle

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Artist: Christ.

Album: Metamorphic Reproduction Miracle

Label: Benbecula

Review date: Aug. 14, 2003

Life After Canada

Upon initial inspection, the artwork of Metamorphic Reproduction Miracle could lead one to assume that christ. is an industrial/noise fetishist. Indeed, the antique medical textbook parade of nude women in varying degrees of pregnancy aligns itself with many classic album covers by the likes of SPK and Whitehouse. Not your standard IDM cover of the Designers Republic variety by any means; thereby matching the aural content of Metamorphic tit for tat.

Adopting the moniker of everyone’s favorite golgothan martyr, Scotlander Liquid Chris H. is renowned for being the mysterious third member from Boards of Canada’s salad days (contributing to their Twoism and Boc Maxima releases) and Metamorphic marks his first full-length foray on his own. Naturally, there are a few stylistic similarities between christ. and Boards of Canada, but Chris has left his former mates in the playpen and chosen to go exploring into the unknown. The unchartered territories plotted within the grooves of Metamorphic may take a few spins for one to fully comprehend, as its seething raw exterior may initially overshadow its hidden subtleties. But the revelation ensures an overwhelming sense of wonder as the distortion heavy production wraps itself ’round the listener – excessive warmth and lingering tones spread throughout its oblique analogue strategies.

These tones prove to make up christ.’s spinal column, rather than the typical hip-hop/dance oriented beats. Tracks like “Dianoes Nouveau”, “Sunart”, and “Odds, Evens, and Primates” create dense atmospherics and embrace simple melodical phrases which are characterized by a sheer, short-lived innocence. Midway through the disc, the pronounced digital percussion pattern of “Fantastic Light” shatters this illusion, using garbled vocal samples to create a foreboding ambience. “MK Naomi” further fuels this mood with warped effects which swirl about in near-random sequences anchored with a sloppy breakbeat that soon succumbs to the sharp and swirling percussives of “Skylab One”. After murking about in a field of dub, the sudden jittery rhythmic pattern of “Ray Breakout” does just that by mimicking Cabaret Voltaire’s stronger moments, attacking the pervading heavy tones of the disc with random noise samples and distorted vocals. The last word from Metamorphic, “School Is Not Compulsory,” would not seem out of place on an early Moog demonstration album, as the extremely analogue synth intro twists about the odd rhythmic sample to create a subtle farewell hop.

By creating a world of sound all his own in Metamorphic, christ. has broken ties from his former brethren, assimilating all manner of psychedelia in the process of mapping out fresh terrain in an otherwise crowded genre.

By Everett Jang Perdue

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