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Live, Drink And Eat Techno

Various Artists
Better Living Through Circuitry Soundtrack

One of the definite bad things about putting together a soundtrack for a movie on electronic film is that you're going to inevitably leave out many different songs that should be included, as well as possibly skipping over entire genres. Worse off, though, is that sometimes rights just aren't attainable for certain groups and although they're mentioned, you never get to hear them. With the Modulations: Cinema For The Ear soundtrack, they ran into this very problem, and although they included songs from many different eras, they skipped over tons of different genres and classic tracks.

One of the things that Better Living Through Circuitry has going for it from the start is that instead of trying to act as a history of electronic and rave music, the movie is more of a current state of techno and focuses more on the "now" than anything. While their is one old track on the release (the 1987 release "Money For E" by Psychic TV), all the other tracks on the disc are from the mid 90s or later. It also has the added bonus of two previously unreleased tracks for those already deeply engrained in the musical fray, with a Millenium Remix of "Now Is The Time" by the Crystal Method and "Parts 1-4" by Meat Beat Manifesto.

The album starts out with a super-edit (one minutes worth) of the crazy, skittering drum and bass of "Truth In The Eyes Of A Spaceship" by Spaceship Eyes. It ends as soon as it has begun and before you know it, the first of 12 audio samples (one at the end of each track) from the movie has started up. Ranging from serious (Roni Size expounding on why he likes breakbeat) to hilarious (the declaration of one girl admitting she's had an orgasm on the dancefloor). For some, they'll be a welcome reminder of the movie and an interesting addition, while they'll probably drive other listeners nutty.

Basically, the disc covers a fair amount of ground, with the aforementioned tracks by Crystal Method and Meat Beat Manifesto, as well as the older track "Expander" by Future Sound Of London (off their Accelerator release). The disc also has tracks by Roni Size ("Brown Paper Bag"), Uberzone ("Freaks"), Keoki ("Catepillar"), and DJ Spooky ("Peace In Zaire"). One of the only things about the disc that is kind of troublesome is the seeming dominance of Moonshine artists. It's not a big deal, but there are a lot of other artists that could have been included that were in the film (but perhaps weren't because of licensing agreements). Still, there are some good songs and if you don't already own the tracks individually, it makes for a good compilation (plus, some interesting bits of audio in-between).

Rating: 6.75