I think it's kind of a fitting thing that I got this CD just about the time that Las Vegas was being hit with its worst flooding ever. Instead of sounding like some kind of lounge-singers delight or anywhere near what you'd imagine for music to accompany the city that never sleeps, this disc does instead sounds like what Vegas would probably sound like if the entire city had been sunk to the bottom of the ocean. All the clinks and clanks of the slot machines, hustling, and people droning about are gone, leaving only the pretty lights, the light blurps of machines on their last breath, and the steady ebb and flow of the water in and around the empty buildings.
Hailing from Germany, the duo of Jorg Burger and Mike Ink have been active in the electronic scene for quite some time now, not only running their own labels, but as members of several different projects at once. Although it's probably already been done, one of the most obvious groups that their sound can be compared to is that of countrymen Mouse On Mars (Autoditaker, era, that is). While they hold some of the same gurgling, pulsing sounds in common, Burger/Ink sounds quite a bit less perky than MOM.
The disc starts out with the haunting, almost chant-like sounds of "Avalon." It drifts along for awhile, creeping its way under your skin until finally a smooth beat layers down over it all and little electronic glitches sprinkle over it all. Perhaps one of the coolest electronic tracks I've heard in quite some time, "Bring Trance Back (to Las Vegas) [Blue Hotel]" sounds like part of a spaghetti-western soundtrack updated for the year 2010. It starts out with some nice, quiet acoustic guitar and a deep, throbbing bassline, but soon gets swept up in with a non-intrusive kick beat that pulls everything together and along at the same time. Things go a little more on the ambient side with the super-rich low-end on "The Jealous Guy From Memphis." A light melody drifts over the top of it and gives the listener the best of both ends of the spectrum. Things get clanging again on the 11-minute post-house "Love Is The Drug [Paris Texas]" before winding down again with the spooky album closer, "Swiss Made."
A lush album, Las Vegas is one that falls somewhere smack between dancefloor and ambient. The beats thump on a couple tracks, but they're not really enough of a catalyst to make you want to move your body. Instead, they simply act as another element in the swirling mix. It's a great chill-out disc, nice for casual listening, but begging to be absorbed with headphones.