PRICE: $15.50
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This is Marc Houle's first CD album for M_nus. Drift is an album of tracks inspired by the prolonged Berlin winter, and the depression, which it so often causes -- from the chill of the coldest nights felt on tracks such as "Inside" and "The Next," through to songs that encompass the frustrations of gray skies such as "Seeing In The Dark." Marc has created a season of emotions, and in doing so, put forth his own personal frustrations towards what is considered "techno" in its most basic form. Locking himself away during a winter season to fully embrace his own idealism has resulted in an album on which his rebellious nature and desire for a more experimental musical mentality has cast him further from the standard practice of the techno underworld. His grievances are at their most clear on the title track, which is an intense, and ultimately angry, techno belter produced as the winter season caused feelings less of "beauty" and more of suffocation. However, Drift is not without moments in which the sunlight peeks through the layers of heavy clouds. Tracks such as "Sweet" and "Hitcher Man" provide the audible interpretation of a person dreaming of warmer climates -- the not-so-forgotten idea of being elsewhere, with the experience of finally seeing the snow fade away and the clouds drift towards springtime skies. By the time the album reaches its finale, it's clear that Marc's winter blues have receded, as the few remaining patches of ice melt into puddles of past musical memories. A mainstay of the M_nus camp, Marc Houle has been known to push the boundaries with his output for the label, always adding tweaks and twists from analog synths, unexpected, obscure sounds, and an onslaught of vocals and playfulness. His take on electronic music is a personal sound that draws upon his early influences from industrial, retro and Detroit, along with a modern vision of path-finding techno. This latest venture for the label, although inspired by the coldest moments of the year, is undoubtedly hot as fire.