Timo Maas/Various Loud

Crafted for the techno mayhem of the big room sound system, Timo Maas makes no bones about how his first artist album should be played. Loud gets your attention right from the start with the tech-funk and loose vocals of Kelis on the theremin-laced "Help Me." Moving onto to the rushing tech of "Manga" and then to the lazy slink of "Hash Driven," Loud sets Maas's wet percussive sound on a grooveable electronica adventure, which includes squelchy breaks, "That's How I've Been Dancing," and chunky acid house, "Old School Vibes. " "Ubik," which made it to last year's top 40 singles charts, and superstar DJ crates adds a pop rock sensibility, and the understated vocal style of Finley Quaye on the trip-hopped "Caravan" winds things down with a bit of class. Unfortunately, this starts good but ends badly, with the raunchy electro funk of "Shifter," which suffers from the needless lyrics of MC Chickaboo, that and the way too rocked out "To Get Down" are little downers amongst all the techno revelry. Nevertheless, Maas maintains an artfully energetic flow throughout the whole CD, which carries the weaker numbers and gives Loud a seriously floor shakingly good vibe. (Kinetic)