Craig is retired Performing Musician and Actor. He contributes various musings for Circus Bazaar.
In 1997 the Crystal Method arrived, and while they may not be pioneers of this trip-hop electronic dance movement they quickly moved to the forefront of accessible dance electronica. Since Vegas emerged they have continued to deliver the goods. They are consistent and seemingly follow a pragmatic methodology when writing and producing their tunes. Over the years they have collaborated with some of the greats including Tom Morrello, Wes Borland and Rahzel among others. Their latest offering is no exception to the rule.
The album openers Emulator and Over It (featuring Dia Framppton) are great tasters and you know these guys are back to electrify the scene again. ‘Sling the Decks’ is aptly titled, it moves, it grooves and takes your neurological functions through all the required chemical pleasures. Storm the Castle keeps the album moving along, highs lows, up tempo, half tempo traditional electronic dance sounds should keep you tuned in.
110 to 101 is agreeable, and again takes you through a plethora of styling’s in sounds and textures, vocodas you name it, it’s here. Jupiter Shift starts with a Police Communication followed by a track that suits the mood set by the opening audio. Around 1 minute in and you are hit with that bass dropping subsonic boom that will have those woofer lovers cranking their systems and cruising down the main drag in their town showing everyone how cool they are. Lets face it, if it wasn’t for groups like the Crystal Method these wankers would be subjecting us to the styling’s of the Wiggles. No offence wiggles.
Stay in touch with the rest of the album, there are more exciting moments. Whether or not LeAnn Rimes deserves a place on the album, or LMFAO on their previous release is not for this reviewer to judge. At the end of the day it provides exposure and may bring a new audience and there are certainly no constraints in the production of the track. The following track “Difference” entertains the listener with some soulful vocals provided by Franky Perez, one of those more obscure collaborations like Justin Warfield on the previous album.
Following the interlude of Metro, After Hours takes the album out nicely.
If you have enjoyed The Crystal Method in the past, they have maintained their benchmark with this offering. There are sounds on here that would’ve been included in the New Super Mario Brothers had Nintendo employed Audio personal with the skills these producers have. Really you can’t go wrong with this one.
France’s vocals are intent, holistic and purposeful. The lyrics are as they need to be, at times urgent, also reflective, on time or in the moment. The writing is mature and scripted and leaves openings for improvisation. The old school...