THX:// - s/t (Music & Elsewhere 1999, M&E 470 Cassette)

From Aural Innovations #5 (January 1999

THX:// is the work of Chris France from Merthyr Tydfil in Wales. The music is heavy, sometimes industrial, and even a bit disturbing at times. The tape I have is a 5-track demo of the version to be released in January '99.

"Body Traffic" and "LBM:Psyop" both have a pulsating machine shop atmosphere that brought to mind the hundreds of workers in the film Metropolis. "Body Traffic" has a spacey electronic buildup, while "LBM" has a very clanging banging beat that would also qualify it for the soundtrack to a cyber horror film. "Blowing Holes In The Sky" starts similarly though the atmosphere is a bit more disturbing. The music settles into a slow simple groove though things gradually get louder and more intense.

"The Dreadful Room" and "In Extremis" are the tracks that most caught my attention, and if I mentioned disturbing atmospheres on the previous tracks these get downright frightening. "The Dreadful Room" could also be known as Music For Underground Sewers. The music doesn't really develop but France produces some really cool sounds and the music conjured up a lot of wild images (that I won't share!). "In Extremis" includes freaky haunted voicings, synth work, and percussion against a heavy industrial electronic background. Probably the most intense track here. I've been stumbling across a lot of all-electronic works lately and this one had more interesting creative work going on in it than much of what I've heard.

For more information visit the Music & Elsewhere web site. Music & Elsewhere has been aggressively releasing cool indie music of all stripes for years. Check them out!!!

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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