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Return Of The Bloopy German

The Modernist
Opportunity Knox
(EMI/Eat Raw)

Joerg Burger has been a part of the electronic music scene since way back in the late eighties and early nineties. While he may not be a household name yet, he's been pumping steadily away behiind the scenes, starting his own label (Eat Raw), re-launching another (Harvest), and creating (as "The Bionaut"). As The Modernist, he goes in a few different directions, but still retains that sort of electronic sound of Cologne (Germany, that is) on Opportunity Knox.

Logically, the most easy comparison to his music is mentioning his collaboration with Mike Ink on last year's Las Vegas (even though it was released first). The disc has a lot of the same bubbling melodies that the duo showcased on their release, but overall, the sound is a lot lighter and less moody sounding than the Burger/Ink partnership and moves a little closer to the being labeled "house" without actually crossing the line.

The release starts out with some shimmering sounds on the title track before a fairly standard drum beat kicks in with a little bit of a bloop noise behind it. The track builds steadily before shaking off into the shimmering noise again several times over. Burger wears his Kraftwerk influence on his sleeve with the track "Data Girl." It moves along with a funny little offset beat and several old-school sounding effects. A grainy audio snippet provides the only vaguely human element on the disc with it's repetitive line. Perhaps the best track on the discs arrives at number 7 with "Pralines And Crime." With a backbone of sampled strings and a what sounds like a live bass, the track is the least dancy on the entire release, but has a lot of other things going for it.

If you've listened to much German electronic music over the past couple of years (minus the Digital Hardcore groups), there's probably something on this release for you. While most of the tracks delve into semi-dancy, repetitive numbers, there are also some tracks that show off the melody more than the rhythym. Like Mouse On Mars' Autoditaker, the disc is full of interesting little gurgling electronic pulses that make it playful even when there isn't a little beat to urge you on. One problem with the disc, is that a lot of the tracks tend to run together somewhat because of their minimal beats and similar sounds. If you're into the groups mentioned above, it might be your thing, otherwise you might wish for something a little more.

Rating: 6