Edition Terranova Hitchhiking Non-Stop With No Particular Direction

Too often, eclectic is a euphemism for a lack of direction, an artistic attempt rarely arriving at any discernible destination. But Berlin trio Edition Terranova stick their thumbs out right there on the title, making it much easier to enjoy their scattershot ride, especially since they get picked up by such high-quality truckers along the way. New York poet Mike Ladd drops some spoken words over a guitar-littered technoscape on "Sublime," returning to deliver some straight-up hip-hop on "Heroes," while Slits vocalist Ariane demands "Equal Rights" on a soul-shatteringly intense electro-dub-punk number and Stereo MC singer Cath Coffey drops a little trip-pop breathiness on the tight club groover "Out of My Head." They even cover Bob Marley on the atmospheric breakbeat-athon "Running Away," before closing with the vocoderised punk rocker "Good Bye The Ferrari." It's robo-pop from a goth kid's uneasy sleep, where even happy dreams are tainted by chest-quaking dread and nightmares are a given. That nasty vibe emerges from the record's sonic foundation, a claustrophobic Germany-via-Detroit techno base that isn't afraid to let loose an industrial-strength sine wave, darken up the dancehall or request that "women beat their men, the men beat on their drums." On Hitchhiking..., Terranova prove that if you remember where you're from, then having no particular direction can still get you exactly where you want to go. (!K7)