Machine Love - "Atomic Power Pak"
(Mp3.com DAM CD, 2001)
From Aural Innovations #20 (July 2002)
Tangerine Dream never died; it’s being reincarnated as Machine Love, an electronic and processed guitar duet featuring San Francisco Bay area artists Vincent James (electronics, grooves and melodies) and his guitarist partner Tad Ro.
Whether you like to invite your upscale, arty friends over to watch Fellini and Kubrick films projected onto the walls of your downtown loft while downing Heineken and Sleeman’s pale ales in high summer, or you just need a trippy, stream-of-consciousness soundtrack to late night painting, sketching or writing sessions, Machine Love’s Atomic Power Pak provides the perfect accompanyment.
There’s something for virually everyone on this smooth, progressive, trip hop effort. Influences tend to be all over the map, but Tangerine Dream and Herbie Hancock come to mind, and in particular the latter’s seminal ‘Future Shock’ disk, one of a number of keystones for the bewildering array of hip hop, trip hop and techno offshoot artists girding the globe with their mind-bending efforts. ‘Electra Orgasm’ and ‘Sneak Pants’ and ‘Space Monster Music’ wear Hancock’s influence like a designer label, in a proud but never sycophant-like way.
Reggae influences can be heard on the ambient track ‘Moon Dream’, which sounds like it could have been originally conceived by Toronto, Ontario trip-hop outfit The New Deal. ‘Tech Lounge’ is a Midnight Cowboy-inspired trip hop piece. Space Monster Music lives up to its moniker - a funky, progressive number with spacy, Robert Fripp-inspired guitar work, - a standout track.
Atomic Power Pak closes on a more experimental note: The twelve minute opus ‘Worm Hole Blues’ is a slow, hypnotic number with a trippy percussiveness and dream-like violin samples to accentuate those emergent alpha waves.
For more information you can visit the Machine Love web site at: http://www.dreamspy.com/.
Contact via snail mail c/o Vincent James; DreamSpy Net Works; 2342 Shattuck Avenue #336; Berkeley, CA 94704.
Reviewed by Ian Compton