Album Review: Timo Maas / ‘Lifer’ (Rockets & Ponies)



A real mish-mash third time up from Timo Maas, ploughing what could be termed a dance-punk route that finds thrills in hacking into computers on the run, while including 2011’s Brian Molko collaboration “College ‘84,” reasonable hip-hop outing “Grown Up” with Mikill Pane, and crystal-tipped house wandering star “Tantra.” After a ponderous, Asian-pinned opening that doesn’t really set the tone other than being one divergent strand amongst many, it’s the sub-goth quiet storms involving road-trippers Katie Cruel and James Lavelle that may leave you hanging, compounded by the twiddles of “Abundance” aiming for edge of the seat but not giving itself time to finish the job. The rocky roads travelled on “Scope” claw back the balance, providing a past-midnight awakening through long and stirring synth rolls.

At its most energetic, “Kick 1 Kick 2” makes the most of being given the freedom to rupture the earth with an ear-splitting techno boom and pound, but the spark goes missing elsewhere. “Train in my Kitchen,” with pots and pans clattering to beefed up punk-funk bass, doesn’t go anywhere, and “Cash Johnny” shows similar solidity in abrasions wanting the straight and narrow rather than the adventurous. Some good moments, some average moments and some moments that you’ve either heard before or won’t remember again, never has that distinction between the DJ and the artist, and wanting to grasp electronic music’s bigger picture, been truer.

File under: Mutant Clan, Santos, Seelenluft

Matt Oliver

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