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Haujobb
VERTICAL THEORY
(Metropolis)
Stars graphics

As goth, Haujobb’s new Vertical Theory lacks overstatement; as trance, it lacks coolness. Purists will surely mind. Yet many of these 11 tracks have just enough catchiness to fit into both manner of DJs’ programs, and a few ("Renegades of Noize" and "The Noise Institute") even seem to sparkle as they rumble ahead. It’s hard not to find the rhythm of "Metric" funky and awfully easy to find the song’s "crashing rains . . . this makes you closer to me" refrain likably goofy. Echo effects ("Concrete"), dreamy orchestrations ("Slide," "Renegades of Noize"), and acid-techno toughness ("Faith in Chaos," "Penetration") work the noise with spaciness recalling Italian disco and just enough drollery ("The Noise Institute" especially) to evoke the plush ambience of classic Kraftwerk. Still, Haujobb’s thin, toneless vocals lack Kraftwerk’s taxidermic fluff, not to mention the dreary velveteen of classic goth. The weakness at the lyric center of their jams forces the listener’s attention onto the instrumentation — which for all its eventual catchiness feels neither ghoulish nor automatic.

BY MICHAEL FREEDBERG


Issue Date: October 10 - 16, 2003
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