[reviews] afe058lcd
de fabriek: quatro-erogenic-occupy theme's part II

chain d.l.k. []
webzine, italy, august 2004

The second part of the CD released by Moloko+ in 1999, this new work by Dutch collective De Fabriek took two years in the making.

First off, the packaging is CRAZY. Afe has always had a taste for elegant, if not elaborate, covers for its CD-R releases, but this is probably the most complex and outstanding one (not considering the Teddy Bear box - but only because that is food for psychiatric research): a vinyl envelope with a toy-like cardboard top, housing a sleeve made of "alien skin" plastic (a green-brown textured material) with a stenciled DF logo, plus an inlay card, anti-alien stickers and a set of close encounters-related postcards (my fave was the "alien abduction pregnancy test" ad)... plus the CD-R, of course. Whew... if it took so long to describe it, imagine what must have been like to put it together!

On to the musical aspect: I'm sadly not familiar with DF's production over the years, but these veterans have covered industrial, musique concrete, kraut rock, plain weird stuff etc. Anyway, this must be one of their most accessible releases, because it's full of "proper" music... yep, and quite melodic too.

Beside being the layout designer, Hue - mind of the Italian electronic projects Sparkle In Grey and Normality Edge - has participated in the recording adding beats and mixing samples provided by the DF core group. I think his hand shows in the more rhythmic tracks, like "Spacewalking" (a great opening, sort of space-shoegaze-electronica) or "The Comet Dance".

But as a whole, the work could be only labelled as (modern) kraut-psychedelia; think of a mix of La Düsseldorf, Ash Ra Tempel, Pink Floyd and Boards of Canada and... no, you won't get close anyway.

Lots and lots of trippy guitars: strummed, flamenco-ed, delayed, looped... This is my main problem with the CD - I'm generally not a fan of 70's psychedelia, and at times I find this a bit over the top for my tastes. But it's successfully assembled, and if you dig your electronica trippy and sweet, you'll find this work a gem. It surely evokes ancient times when aliens kidnapped people for sexual experiments, but also had some kinky appeal.

[Eugenio Maggi]