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Metalux 

Waiting for Armadillo

Wednesday, Oct 6 2004
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Metalux is an eccentric female duo from Chicago that has developed this complex sound-machine. It's an intricate and cacophonous beast -- with an anatomy made of numerous retooled instruments, obsolete electronics, and frayed wires slithering all about -- that quite enjoys emitting screaming walls of static, nervous Atari 2600 chatter, low-frequency bombs, and countless other snaps and pops. If the girls simply flipped the "on" switch on their machine, then they'd be a conceptual noise project. But they are indie rockers from the Midwest, so they play guitar buried in feedback and chant like androids while herding the beast's unruly vibrations into something resembling scraping rhythmic accompaniment. At times, this interactive biometal sound-loop feels more like flesh -- the rippling dance pulse of "Fastblood" or the throwback guitar jam "Splinter and Shimmer." Elsewhere, when everything comes together, as on the grating echo-drone epic "Rotisserarie Voodoo Llama," the respective vibrations of human and machine mesh, trade places, and create an inseparable fabric, which then raises the question: human or machine? Answer: both.

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Justin F. Farrar

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