Hacker Reves Mecaniques

Michel Amato (aka the Hacker) has been carefully sidestepping around a strange predicament. His last album, the excellent First Album with Miss Kittin, spawned an international strip-club anthem in "Frank Sinatra,” became synonymous with electroclash, and made an ice-cold starlet out of his collaborator. In the three years that have passed, electroclash was put down faster than a rabid dog and his starlet released a very uneven solo album. Reves Mechaniques sees the Hacker shifting from electro to EBM. It’s a step in the right direction because both genres play to his dark and menacing atmospherics. Miss Kittin, Perspects and Mount Sims drop in for a vocal track each, but it’s clear from the album’s first half that Amato knows what he wants to achieve. However, the masterful coherence of the first five tracks only highlights how much the rest of the album pales in comparison. Reve’s bottom end is filled with noodling, overlong numbers that never really commit to a particular idea. (PIAS)