(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Monday, February 21, 2011

CD review - Art vs Science, Magic Fountain (2011)

Art vs Science has already made a great impact on the worldwide electronic scene. Their frantic energy reminds me of The Prodigy (Firestarter), but it's a younger, more modern sound. Where most hardcore club grinds would drag out and take their time to develop, Art vs Science caters to a pop song style attention span. The develop their songs quickly: a brief intro giving way to the monster hook.

Check out the title track for the Magic Fountain EP.

First, they set up the story:
In the beginning, there was a fountain, but it wasn't just any fountain
It was a fountain of lights, it was a fountain of truth
It was a fountain of dreams, it was a fountain of youth
It was a ....(magic, magic, magic...) MAGIC FOUNTAIN
The persistent bass grinds away tirelessly, driven by a manic beat. Like the video's conceit, this is a sound that demands physical response. Despite the electronic elements, the overall feel is organic and loose.

Not every song is so hyper. Friend in the Field sets up more of a rock/post-rock vibe, reflecting a pop version of Muse's sonic space. Even with a more moderate pace, Art vs Science still bring a compelling intensity.

The Magic Fountain EP came out last August, but my pre-release version of the US release (due out next month) appears to be a different collection, featuring a more varied track list with fewer remixes. In any case, Art vs Science will have a brief US tour around SXSW to promote the EP. The band has also promised a full length album (The Experiment) to come out later this month in the band's home, Australia. Given how Art vs Science crams 20 minutes of techno dance energy into each three or four minutes, I can't wait to get a listen to the new album.

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