Oct 2011 12

Cruise[Ctrl] - How's Annie?Cruise [Ctrl]
Category: Ambient/Industrial
Album: How’s Annie?
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: Cruise [Ctrl]’s minimalist, single-tempo approach to music making provides a fresh and unique addition to the world of electronica.


The Belgium based electro/industrial duo of John C. and Gore remain true to the formulated path they had laid out with their 2008 debut album I Heard It!. With their second full-length release, How’s Annie?, they carry on their 120 BPM mentality of music-making and connect the nine original tracks on How’s Annie? with stylistic uniformity. Through a deliberate connectivity between the songs and an overall homogenous quality to the music, Cruise [Ctrl] takes song after song and highlight each with a subtle uniqueness. This strictly instrumental collection masks itself as atmospheric by nature, but there lies much more than that beneath the surface.

How’s Annie? begins elusively with the inconspicuous “Missoula 46,” a track that just about pushes you away before surreptitiously drawing you back in. Sequenced waves of synthesized sound wash in and out while a steadfast backbeat eventually elevates the ambient component creating an overall sound that feels rejuvenated and fresh. Genres instantly become broken and we are left with an introductory number that leaves us with a well placed question mark. “Pomona Road” then pulls back on the reigns, easing the restrained edginess that began the album with a minimalist approach that is so void of spirit that it merely ambles itself along. Still, there’s something about this song and a handful of similar tracks on How’s Annie? that consistently arouse curiosity. “Tears in the Snow” and “Bunny Room” personify what the band can produce as far as purely atmospheric music, both with the utmost of bleakness and a beat-free deliverance. Hauntingly beautiful, they lend themselves as nicely placed breaks on How’s Annie?, surrendering into the following tracks beautifully. “Ugly Expresso in Hollywood” and “Henry’s Head” embody Cruise [Ctrl]’s stylistic approach of using the underlying synthesized component as a suitable match to their trademark percussive 120 BPM framework. Songs such as these have a way of carrying the non-melody of the backing into that of an actual melody. The remaining songs that comprise the bulk of the album simply continue to carry you along for the ride, electronically bubbly at times and always with a breadth of pseudo-industrial bleakness added for good measure.

Cruise [Ctrl]’s How’s Annie? is an intelligent and creative offering from the band. Without ever becoming mundane, they deliver a characteristically atmospheric collection, which extends itself beyond that of a straightforward ambient album. Credit is to be given to the duo for breaking through the limitations that might have hindered them from creating a minimalist electronic album that can actually be listened to from front-to-back.

Track list:

  1. Missoula 46
  2. Pomona Road
  3. Tears in the Snow
  4. Labyrinth Girl
  5. There is a Hole in my Donut
  6. Bunny Room
  7. Henry’s Head
  8. Where is Alice? Alice Who?
  9. Ugly Expresso in Hollywood
  10. Where is Alice? Alice Who? (Rorschach Garden Mix)
  11. Pomona Road (No More Mix)
  12. Where is Alice? Alice Who? (Oil 10 Mix)

Cruise [Ctrl] Website http://www.cruisectrl.be/
Cruise [Ctrl] MySpace http://www.myspace.com/cruisectrl
Cruise [Ctrl] Facebook http://www.facebook.com/cruisectrl#!/profile.php?id=100001524050609
Cruise [Ctrl] Twitter http://twitter.com/Cruise_CTRL_
Cruise [Ctrl] Soundcloud http://soundcloud.com/cruise-ctrl
Divine Comedy Records Website http://divineco.records.free.fr
Divine Comedy Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/fabdivinecomedyrecords

Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3


Stephen Lussier (ioweyouacoke)

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