Meat Beat Manifesto
Impossible Star
Virtual Label
★★★★

How do you go over seven years and make an album like this? It does not seem possible, but Meat Beat Manifesto did it.

Impossible Star moves elements from across the Meat Beat Manifesto musical gamut while pushing genius forward. Spiraling and spinning around layers of depth and dynamics, MBM creates hyper-surrealism that is nothing short of cinematic.

One element immediately noticed is that Meat Beat Manifesto never succumbs to trends and stays true to their cause no matter what else is going on around them. Listening to Impossible Star is like sitting in an observation deck and staring down into the lab. We watch the band splice and dice up beats. They stretch out ambient tones. They distort rhythm to a garbled mess and re-animate them with electrifying results.

The album starts with one word, “one.” The lonely number is isolated inside your self—individuality emerges. The aural hues that follow is like experiencing your personal 2001. No heartbeat, just technology. We are in the grasp of the hypnotist, drifting to the soundtrack of consciousness.

Meat Beat Manifesto – Lurker

Comparatively, “Bass Playa” feels overwhelming. Cut-up beats send the senses into overdrive. This is elevator music out of control, a dominant vision of Impossible Star. Even within the song there is an overwhelming of the senses where loops are not as they seem, while other times they become very apparent. A powerful speaker experience, if you don’t have the right levels, you may miss out on this studio symphony.

Somewhere between Armed Audio Warfare and RUOK? lies “We Are Surrounded.” The song dives further into experimentation in what “Bass Playa” started. The further you listen, the more deranged boundaries become. Space between songs seems unnecessary when it is only used for the purpose of pause as an identification break. The Dark Side of the Moon for Meat Beat Manifesto, Impossible Star is best experienced sitting on your couch and letting it all sink in.

Although most songs range between three and six minutes, the album is a monster. However, “Lurker” is the longest, clocking in at over 14 minutes. The downtempo beat builds sci-fi layering of random blips and bleeps hushed over a calming hum and fluttering atmospheric samples. These are the things that provide mystique. The song acts as a calming mindfulness amongst the chaos and clutter of information overload.

Whether you feed from the Kraftwerkian stance of “Synthesizer Teste” or the frightening Orwellian noise of “Rejector,” the journey is a deeply involved one. Maybe this is why it took seven years to create. There is so much going on. You won’t find “Helter Skelter” on this album. But what you will find are nibbles of influences that give just enough hints as to where Meat Beat Manifesto takes from and shows the chaotic control they send the listener on. Impossible Star stand out on its own plane of existence. This is the album the electronic music community needs.

Categories: Reviews

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