Published Sep 05, 2018Techno producer Chris Liebing draws parallels between meditation, music and dancing on track one of his new full-length disc, Burn Slow. Over top of leisurely paced electronics, two spoken-word recordings explain that none of the above are about making our way somewhere; instead, the excursion is the thing. "When we're dancing, we're not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor … we are taking a journey."
That theme drives all of the suitably titled Burn Slow. Surprisingly, given Liebing's reputation for pounding beats and industrial-strength remixes, the BPMs are turned way down for much of the album's 73 minutes.
A handful of guest appearances fill out the sound. We get five spoken-word additions, including the aforementioned contribution from Cold Cave and a sultry effort by Essex electro-pop diva Polly Scattergood. Jazz artist Miles Cooper Seaton, electronic music legend Gary Numan and Aleen round out the list.
It's all very film noir — and rather mediocre. These 10 dark soundtracks fail to chart new territory. They're not bad; they're just not challenging or frankly all that interesting.
Perhaps Liebing's debut for Mute Records is weighed down by his affection for the label. After spending a childhood obsessed with Mute artists like Depeche Mode, Nitzer Ebb and others, it may have been inevitable that he'd produce a record perhaps too indebted to the label's many trailblazers. Whether the result is a well-placed tribute or a derivative disappointment is up to the label's many admirers. (Mute)