Triborg - s/t
(Black Note Music 2006, BNM012)
From Aural Innovations #35 (January 2007)
Triborg is a project JC Mendizabal (possibly better known as Kyron to some AI readers) and Bret Stidham. I've not heard Kyron's other efforts on the Black Note label, so I can't say as how they compare, other than from the descriptions, Triborg are in the same vein, that is, chilled out, experimental ambient music, but always with a beat in mind. But this is by no means beat driven or dance music. The very electronic rhythms exist to propel the both icy cool and warmly rich atmospheres along. While you get samples drifting in and out of the mix, and lots of electronics, unlike most music of this variety, Mendizabal and Stidham utilize some bass, guitar and piano as well. For example, you'd be hard-pressed to call Midnite in Tijuana "electronica" in the traditional sense, it's more reminiscent of (as the song's title plays around with) one of their stated influences, Miles Davis. But the song that follows, Migration, brings twittering electronics and robotic beats back into the fore, before adding some spicey latin rhythms. The album moves like this, never becoming predictable through its nine tracks. The rhythmic structures are creative, and seeded with intriguing atmospheres and mutant worldbeat elements, things get freaky and exotic quite often. Martian Gangster even throws in some spooky high-pitched theremin-like wails to inject a bit of interplanetary spookiness to the proceedings. For a genre that has overall, perhaps, peaked and seen better days, it's nice to hear some artists are still being creative and pushing it forward by expanding the idea of what ambient techno music can be.
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Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald