Anika - "A: 0507"
(Private Release)

From Aural Innovations #42 (May 2011)

With a visual concept derived from early Chrome (particularly Alien Soundtracks and Half Machine Lip Moves) and a sound that's halfway between Frontline Assembly's futuristic industrial assault and Clock DVA's proto-cyberpunk techno fascism, Anika certainly doesn't lay claim to unexplored territory; what they lack however in originality, they make up for in relentless electronic drive. Noise, twisted samples, crashing drum machines, chainsaw guitars and massive jolts of synthesized sound permeate the 16 tracks on A: 0507. Many of the song titles evoke the impossibly dense and hopelessly complex age of hyper-accelerated technology we all now inhabit: "Plug-in City," "I See the Unseen," "Radiograph" and "From 0 to Nothing" all seethe with the kinetic energy of thinking machines computing vectors for global domination. It's like having one's central nervous system plugged directly into a zaibatsu's mainframe. "She Saw Her Eyes" is archetypal of what Anika strive for: disembodied processed voices and shards of fractured melody engulfed in a flanged, mutated noisescape of synthesizers and electronics. The pounding machine rhythms of "Your Reflection Is My Expression" serve to highlight a sample from Tangerine Dream's Thief soundtrack before dissolving into a kling-klang nightmare that warps early Neu! and Faust into a sinister sound collage for a malfunctioning android. By comparison, tracks like "Plug-in City" and "Everything Else Was Silence" are almost serene, with their hypnotic, repetitive electronics evoking sound reflections for some strange, post-Akira science fiction film. A: 0507 certainly has its charms, especially for those interested in the post-industrial sound nexus of groups like Chrome, Cabaret Voltaire and others of their ilk, but be forewarned: Anika makes "music" for deranged humans desirous of mutating into biomechanoids.

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Reviewed by Charles Van de Kree

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