Aug 2013 26

Taxim - MonitoringTaxim
Category: Industrial
Album: Monitoring
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: An album of impressive hooks and exceptional polish, but little depth.


Sporting cover art one would expect from an awful mid ‘90s rap act, Monitoring proves the old adage “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” The sixth album from this German electro outfit continues the trend of mostly instrumental work, coming across like a playground of ideas and experimentation and at times taking on a similar feel as Front Line Assembly side projects Noise Unit and Intermix. Unlike those side projects however, Taxim’s work frequently seems more like the rough cut rather than the final draft.

From the beginning, Taxim’s work proves to be very adept at crafting striking moments that grab attention like “Das Augenproblem”’s eerie synths and the exceptional driving rhythm of “Tringa Solitaria,” but these moments also feel like buildup to something that never comes. It quickly begins to feel as if the album is tailored to be shopped around for soundtracks and the slightly chip tune and video game inspired sound of “Digital Revolution” and “Pain Remains” make that impression all the more strong. Track after track barrages the listener with hooks, creating brief and easily digestible moments of music perfect for memorable scores, frequently repeated ad nauseum, offering a thin facade of a song. “Ich Bin Nicht Schuld” is the album’s only traditional, non-instrumental track; its quick change in style and structure leaves the song sounding considerably out of place on the album, but despite its somewhat weak vocal performance, it acts as a very welcome change as it brings some life to some otherwise sterile proceedings.

Despite its high level of polish, the problem with Monitoring is it feels like an unfinished product. An album of hooks alone, despite how strong they are, does not make for an ultimately satisfying experience. Much of the album would undoubtedly work perfectly as part of a score for a video game or film, and therein lays the problem; the album simply doesn’t stand on its own, like it is an ingredient to something larger, and unfortunately, this ingredient by itself just isn’t very satisfying.
Track list:

  1. Das Augenproblem
  2. Tringa Solitaria
  3. 2011
  4. Digital Revolution
  5. Ich Bin Nicht Schuld
  6. How Happy You Are
  7. Pain Remains
  8. 500 Stufen
  9. 68/12
  10. Dein Kind?
  11. World in Slow Motion

Taxim Website
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Taxim Bandcamp
Ionium Records Website
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Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Trubie Turner (Flexei)

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