Metroland - Mixing the Gap
Electronics, Minimal Metroland is a Belgian conceptual band, consisting of passenger A and passenger S, and highly influenced by Komputer and Kraftwerk. After the release of their album 'Mind The Gap' (soon reviewed by Patrik Lindström - editors note), they decided to bundle all their former download 12 inches onto this limited EP 'Mixing The Gap'. It holds all the tracks from both previous single releases, 'The Passenger' and 'Enjoying The View', plus mixes from DJ Stamba, Novo and Sophie Watkins.

We are immediately taken on an electronic journey riding on melodic synth layers and robotic vocals in "Enjoying the View (7inch Version)". Extremely Kraftwerk like with a repetitive rhythm, a very catchy melody, and minimalistic. I will take this as a tribute to Kraftwerk, and it is a very good one. It is also in the Kraftwerk style a celebration of the modern world. Other influences such as Komputer become apparent in "Theme For Metroland (Close the Door Remix)". Although the track takes on a new life in it's duration going up tempo and taking on a heavy bass line, and a large element of noize. The first track was a sonic journey of pleasure this is not.

In "The Passenger (12inch Backside Version)" we return to a more stable environment. The track has a good drum beat and wonderful melodic background synth line. We are accompanied by effective digitized vocals and a good foreground synth rhythm. The increased and effective use of drums in this track is the most striking feature. We return to the heavy bass sound and more drums as we travel on the "Moscow Main (Sophie Watkins Mix)". The sound is techno, vocals are minimal and the rhythm is too repetitive. It picks up in places but in the main I find it monotonous and it takes me nowhere.

"1863" has an odd but charming start of chiming sounds which sets a wonderful scene for something to follow. I guess this is celebrating the first section of the London Underground, opening from Paddington to Farringdon Street in January 1863. I may be completely wrong but I think it's a nice idea anyway. This is a very different sound with hints of 80's synthpop amongst the even more vintage sounds. The "Harry Beck (Laurent Boudic Under Növö Remix)" has a strong electro-industrial sound. It's deep and well layered and the first of the harder tracks that I have really liked. It still has much of the Kraftwerk style running right through it, but this is surrounded by much more. Including many nice synth lines which due to it's complexity need time and concentration to pick out.

We continue with "Enjoying the View - 12inch Tourist Version", with sounds like the Tardis landing to hints of dubstep. Building once again into the beautiful sound we heard before. This is a sound to be enjoyed and makes you believe a train trip through the country might actually be fun, as you see the fields passing by you. "Inner City Transport (7inch Version)" is a very melodic track with an erratic like drum beat. It combines the melodic synth sounds with others and the digitized vocals to give a feeling of contrast, perhaps of travelling at different speeds or in different areas.

Next is the Komputer influenced "It's More Fun to Commute (Stamba Mix)", now given a heavy beat techno sound. This is a change made very naturally by DJ Stamba as he improvises and builds on the track. We complete with the electropop sound of "The Passenger (7inch Version)". A highlight of the EP just made for Kraftwerk geeks, and more Kraftwerk than Kraftwerk at least in recent years.

Conclusion:
Although there are such strong influences in this album the music apart from being electronic is in no way restricted and follows no rules making for an album with some unexpected contrasts. If you are a fan of the more melodic work of Kratwerk or Komputer there are a couple of gems in this EP in the form of the previous single releases, 'The Passenger' and 'Enjoying The View', and who knows you may like some of the remixes also.
4
Brutal Resonance

Metroland - Mixing the Gap

7.5
"Good"
N/A
Electroracle
Spotify
Released 2012 by Alfa-Matrix
Metroland is a Belgian conceptual band, consisting of passenger A and passenger S, and highly influenced by Komputer and Kraftwerk. After the release of their album 'Mind The Gap' (soon reviewed by Patrik Lindström - editors note), they decided to bundle all their former download 12 inches onto this limited EP 'Mixing The Gap'. It holds all the tracks from both previous single releases, 'The Passenger' and 'Enjoying The View', plus mixes from DJ Stamba, Novo and Sophie Watkins.

We are immediately taken on an electronic journey riding on melodic synth layers and robotic vocals in "Enjoying the View (7inch Version)". Extremely Kraftwerk like with a repetitive rhythm, a very catchy melody, and minimalistic. I will take this as a tribute to Kraftwerk, and it is a very good one. It is also in the Kraftwerk style a celebration of the modern world. Other influences such as Komputer become apparent in "Theme For Metroland (Close the Door Remix)". Although the track takes on a new life in it's duration going up tempo and taking on a heavy bass line, and a large element of noize. The first track was a sonic journey of pleasure this is not.

In "The Passenger (12inch Backside Version)" we return to a more stable environment. The track has a good drum beat and wonderful melodic background synth line. We are accompanied by effective digitized vocals and a good foreground synth rhythm. The increased and effective use of drums in this track is the most striking feature. We return to the heavy bass sound and more drums as we travel on the "Moscow Main (Sophie Watkins Mix)". The sound is techno, vocals are minimal and the rhythm is too repetitive. It picks up in places but in the main I find it monotonous and it takes me nowhere.

"1863" has an odd but charming start of chiming sounds which sets a wonderful scene for something to follow. I guess this is celebrating the first section of the London Underground, opening from Paddington to Farringdon Street in January 1863. I may be completely wrong but I think it's a nice idea anyway. This is a very different sound with hints of 80's synthpop amongst the even more vintage sounds. The "Harry Beck (Laurent Boudic Under Növö Remix)" has a strong electro-industrial sound. It's deep and well layered and the first of the harder tracks that I have really liked. It still has much of the Kraftwerk style running right through it, but this is surrounded by much more. Including many nice synth lines which due to it's complexity need time and concentration to pick out.

We continue with "Enjoying the View - 12inch Tourist Version", with sounds like the Tardis landing to hints of dubstep. Building once again into the beautiful sound we heard before. This is a sound to be enjoyed and makes you believe a train trip through the country might actually be fun, as you see the fields passing by you. "Inner City Transport (7inch Version)" is a very melodic track with an erratic like drum beat. It combines the melodic synth sounds with others and the digitized vocals to give a feeling of contrast, perhaps of travelling at different speeds or in different areas.

Next is the Komputer influenced "It's More Fun to Commute (Stamba Mix)", now given a heavy beat techno sound. This is a change made very naturally by DJ Stamba as he improvises and builds on the track. We complete with the electropop sound of "The Passenger (7inch Version)". A highlight of the EP just made for Kraftwerk geeks, and more Kraftwerk than Kraftwerk at least in recent years.

Conclusion:
Although there are such strong influences in this album the music apart from being electronic is in no way restricted and follows no rules making for an album with some unexpected contrasts. If you are a fan of the more melodic work of Kratwerk or Komputer there are a couple of gems in this EP in the form of the previous single releases, 'The Passenger' and 'Enjoying The View', and who knows you may like some of the remixes also. Oct 02 2012

Danya Malashenkov

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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