Jun 2011 15

Cover Image
Category: Electro-pop / Futurepop
Album: 8 Bits (Single)
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: Centered on one of R.E.T.R.O.’s best tracks, 8 Bits would be fantastic if only for some variety.


Austrian electronic band Mind.in.a.Box breaks from the storyline of their previous albums and mix past with present for their new releases, combining their expertise in electronica with a bit of ‘80s vintage sound and theme. The 8 Bits single showcases one of the best tracks from their newest album, R.E.T.R.O., promising fans two alternate versions of the title track, a club mix, and a bonus track; 8 Bits is thus, in a sense, an extension of R.E.T.R.O. filling in some gaps intentionally left.

The 8.5 Bits mix of the “8 Bits” track is a very lively and energized track with a bouncy beat and fun computerized effects. Catchy hooks and rhythm make this song a fantastic mix. But then the 8.6 Bits mix comes on, and… is this the same track? For a solid two-and-a-half minutes – roughly half the track length – no discernable difference can be detected between this and the previous track; or between both tracks and the original album track, for that matter, save for differences in length and minor additions. Finally, after over half of the song has gone by, Stefan Poiss’ vocals enter into the song, soulful and impassioned. The primary difference between the two EP versions of this song is the inclusion of Poiss’ vocals at the end of the 8.6 Bits mix, as opposed to a synthesizer in the 8.5 Bits mix. This is a massive disappointment from a band as talented and experienced as Mind.in.a.Box – fans of the band will undoubtedly feel cheated by this, as did this reviewer. The song itself is fantastic, but when the only differences between two tracks can be found at 2:30 out of 4:01, there is something seriously wrong.

The other tracks on the EP hold well. The Club mix of “8 Bits” is just as danceable and has just as good of a beat as the other variations of the song. Breaking completely away from the title track, however, is “Last Ninja 2,” the missing middle track for R.E.T.R.O.’s “The Last Ninja” and “Last Ninja 3.” The track begins light with airy instrumentation over a heavy, almost hip-hop beat coupled with Commodore 64-inspired sounds. The track seamlessly moves from this mood into very powerful and driving instrumentation starkly different from the first half of the track. “Last Ninja 2” is very engaging and transitions well between its thematic sections.

The music of 8 Bits is well orchestrated, engaging, and fun. However, attempting to repackage nearly identical tracks is shameful and brings the overall rating of the EP down from the much higher rating it could have deserved.
Track list:

  1. 8 Bits (8.5 Bits Mix)
  2. 8 Bits (8.6 Bits Mix)
  3. Last Ninja 2
  4. 8 Bits (Club Mix)

Mind.in.a.Box Website http://mindinabox.com
Mind.in.a.Box MySpace http://www.myspace.com/mindinabox
Mind.in.a.Box Facebook http://www.facebook.com/mindinabox.official
Mind.in.a.Box Twitter http://www.twitter.com/_mindinabox
Metropolis Records Website http://www.metropolis-records.com
Metropolis Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/metropolisrecords
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Zak Vaudo (Chaostar)

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