Blotnik Brothers: Mizuage

There's a fine line separating ‘derivation' and ‘imitation,' a line The Blotnik Brothers (Swedish electro producers Martin Rasberg, Roberto Mensa, and Patrick Casey) sometimes cross on Mizuage: though there's nothing wrong with wearing influences on one's sleeve, the group's premiere full-length occasionally sounds a bit too much like Kraftwerk for its own good. The Düsseldorf legends' catalogue is plundered, for example, in “Schlag Prallt Auf Rmx”: after a promising electro-swing intro, a Radioactivity-styled voice emerges, followed by ascending Computerworld patterns and a brooding synth line much like the epic theme in “Trans Europe Express”; in addition, the closing seconds of “Don't Worry You Won't Dissolve” directly quotes the ‘train' rhythm in “Trans Europe Express,” and a Kraftwerk-styled melody streams over charging electro breaks in “Works Original.”

Thankfully, The Blotnik Brothers' act includes more than just impersonations. The group impresses on “In Technology We TRUST” and “Starforce Exodus” when it breaks away from its forebears and gives its electro sound a harder industrial edge that pushes it towards breakcore. Mizuage also features forays into electro-acid (“Meta Data”), a silken setting so smooth it verges on trance (“Fututure Visions”), and a somewhat less-enthralling Gothic outro (“LoVE Song”). Though such moments aren't completely satisfying, they suggest that The Blotnik Brothers' time and energy might be better spent on perfecting its own sound rather than paying homage to its more famous brethren.

April 2007