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coverpic flag Germany - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 22 - 08/08/98

Panacea
Twisted Designz
Position Chrome / Force Inc.

When I listened to the new Panacea album for the first time I didn't like it very much. It seemed to me that the once innovative and powerful drum & bass artist had turned into some generic happy techno act with fast monotonic beats. However, after listening to the album several times I noticed that the running times given on the cover did not fit the tracks I was listening to. I changed the speed of my record player (yeah, I'm one of these guys who still prefer those old black vinyl disks) and voila - a totally different listening experience.

In my ignorance I had determined the correct speed only on the first side. And that's not an easy task with such abstract and mostly instrumental music when the correct speed is not given anywhere on the records. Anyway, then I'd played all sides with the same setting. But the vocal samples, which I thought to be pitched up a bit, were in fact pitched down. And the fast happy techno speed isn't meant that way - the tracks rather should bear down on you slowly but powerful like a tank or a steamroller.

Now this Panacea disc is still a bit monotonous, especially when I compare it to his first album, but there lies a special kind of power and violence in this monotony.

But don't get me wrong - when I say monotonous, it doesn't mean there is no tricky drum & bass programming on the album, it's just that Panacea did not try to top his efforts in this category, which is a good thing because drum & bass has been taken to the extreme already and there is no point in continuing in that direction.

Like the vinyl version of the first album, the double 12" for Twisted Designz features only the main tracks and leaves off the intro, the "outro" and several interludes that can be found on the CD. The vinyl is obviously meant for DJs, not for home listening. By the way, the DJs don't care for the correct speed of a record, they play it with the speed that fits the flow of their mix anyway.

Copyright © 1998 Lonely Locke e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Panacea article/review: Low Profile Darkness.

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