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(Fat Cat)

Like many recent releases on the Mego and Tomlab label, Mani by Dorine_Muraille is truly one of those efforts that is fully reliant on digital technology. A sonic symphony like this could have possibly been created using elaborate tape-loop experiments and tons of hands-on editing, but it would have taken a lifetime to create. With a tiny processor running millions of operations a second, the deconstruction and reconstruction of music has become a slightly less painstaking process.

Although that may tell you something about Mani, it doesn't give you the overall picture. For all intents and purposes, though, the overall picture is somewhat blurry when trying to explain music such as this. It's music that takes pieces of organic instrumentation and shards them into pieces, leaving them unobscured only part of the time. It's music that sounds like a combination of French spoken-word colliding with glitch electronic colliding with 2 thought processes going on at once. Sometimes it feels like a mess and at others it feels like a cloud is parting over your head and a new world is being explored.

Mani is constantly changing. As mentioned above, at times it sounds like there are several different pieces of nearly conflicting instrumentation playing. The opening track of "Le Supplice De La Baignoire" flutters along with clipped chimes, piano, and vocals before slowly stuttering into a beat that lasts only a few measures. At moments, everything lines up and it feels beautiful, while at others it struggles to wade out of a digital morass. "Dopees" is a much more effective track, and while it employs a similar sort of production, there is a beautiful vocal melody that drifts through the track and pulls it all together.

"Se Flinguer/Piquer Une Porsche" is one of those tracks that sounds like conflicting ideas going on at the same time. On one side, a freestyle jazz session is shattered apart, while on the other individual horn tones play and the whole thing strips down to quiet piano melodies on ocassion, clearing the entire palette. The dynamic is actually a welcome one. Although there are points where tracks break down to individual elements, much of the time the release simply leaves your head spinning with the amount of glitchery and multiple elements all vying for attention. It really is a truly unique release, though, and if you're one of those people who appreciates unique sonic environments, this one will tickle your eardrums.

Rating: 7