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Pokerface - Transeo CD (album) cover





3.67 | 3 ratings

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Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars Pokerface is a project by Swede Stefan Heidevik which originated in 1996 as an experimental hip-hop outfit. This is the group's second full-length album. Being influenced by everything from film scores to fusion to trip-hop and everything in between, here the music is mostly a mix of IDM and avant-prog. Sort of a cross between Autechre and the latter, more electric Univers Zero. One thing IDM and avant-prog has in common is a predominance of minor key melodies, of which there is lots here. IDM rhythms are mixed with heavy rock/metal style chords along with jazzy sax and trumpet. There is some violin and cello as well. Stefan himself plays synths, percussion and does some of the vocals. Programmed drums are mixed with a real drummer and sometimes it is hard to tell which is which.

This album is half studio/half live with a fair amount of bonus material. The only thing that gives away that the live tracks are indeed live is the audience. One of the goals of this project was the meeting between programmed music and live musicians playing in real time. Sometimes the music here sounds very electronic and non-human, yet other times sounds like an actual band playing. "Hypocrites" is a nice mix of IDM and avant-rock but nothing too crazy or experimental. Without the sax and heavy guitars this might sound only like an IDM track. "Buildings" has a great synth bass line which I just love. The music dies down and you hear spoken samples in places. Features some very jazzy playing on modified trumpet.

"Beginnings And Endings" is one of the more interesting songs with vocals (which here sometimes reminds me of Thom Yorke). One of the longer cuts and it moves through different musical ideas very well. "Miss You" is proabaly the best of the tracks recorded live. Hard to describe but it is very low-key and melodic with complimentary vocals. "Really Real Reality" has narrated vocals that remind me of Robert Calvert on Hawkwind's Space Ritual album. The music is moody and slow moving. The beginning of "For Those Who Have Fallen" has synth chords that remind me of either Autechre or Boards Of Canada. Otherwise it almost sounds like metal. The singing turns almost operatic.

"Spider" has a neat video made for it. The guitar sounds like it's trying to play something that a sequencer would normally do. Very IDM sounding drum programming. The guitar does an avant-jazz style solo. Nice melody on synths and...not sure. Trumpet? Violin? Nice anyway. This is a great recommendation to those who love both IDM and avant-prog. Not for those allergic to programmed drumming, though. Transeo is available on Bandcamp as a 'pay what you want' release. Very good stuff, a mix of different styles but mainly moody electronic rock for the most part. I will give this a 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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