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Transllusion is one half of the Detroit electro-duo Drexciya, who, in association with the influential Underground Resistance label, released a handful of futuristic, aquatic-themed techno records throughout the nineties. More influenced by hip-hop and electro-funk than house music, Drexciya seemed to operate in a world of their own making by taking cues from Germany, New York, and their own hometown to create an image of an undersea metropolis in possession of their own anthems and rhythms.

Transllusion doesn't seem to pick up where Drexciya left off, but musically is in more or less the same electronic ballpark. Electro-funk has a very basic, rhythmic sound, whose parameters have been pushed to the limits after over ten years of exploration into this genre, and unfortunately this cd doesn't take us anywhere we haven't been before. "The Opening of the Cerebral Gate" is a very dry affair with little flair or originality. This new cd simply supplies the faithful electro-funk fanatic with more of the same.

Even Kraftwerk spiced their robotic techno-sound with some vocals and soulful chords. The Transllusion electronic sound is strictly for cyborgs or for those wishing to brush up on their popping and locking. This is machine music, devoid of personality. Perhaps this is what some fans of the genre look for, but this seems to be a generic representation at best.

Any fan of drum machines and electronic music in general would be hard pressed to find a reason not to like the third track "Walking With Clouds". The machine rhythms are restrained and just funky enough to counterbalance a flickering tonal sequence that floats above a subliminally deep bassline. However, this track, which I find to be the highlight of "Cerebral Gate," is the cd's shortest track, and is ultimately a dimly-shining gem sitting uncomfortably amongst a pile of ordinary electro-funk fragments.

- SK

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| December 2001 | Issue 21
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