Mariel Ito: My Cyborg Depths

There's clearly nothing coy about the title Erik Estornel (aka Maetrik) chose for his Mariel Ito debut. My Cyborg Depths is clearly futuristic machine-music, all blinding chromium-plated surfaces and cold precision engineering. But it's also superb, a relentlessly jacking electro-paradise of vocodered voices, writhing surges, and pulsating pinprick grooves. The album looks forward, of course, yet a retro feel emerges too, specifically when slippery Kraftwerk beats emerge in “Torn & Reborn.” Apparently that's Richard Burton oozing narrative portent in “Syndrome” too but it's the song's surging tech-house you'll remember more. Though “Remorse Attack” and “Destinos” up the psychotropic ante, Estornel elsewhere humanizes the material by weaving delicate melodic lines into tunes like “Satisfied Death” and “Dream Deception.” Imagine a merger between Solvent's shiny electro-synth pop and Kill Memory Crash's industrial intensity and you'll have a fairly accurate impression of My Cyborg Depths' deep-space sound.

March 2006