Wednesday, December 19, 2001

Lifestyles of the Laptop Café

Posted on Wed, Dec 19, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Agent OPP: We have been recording your activities. Your elusiveness is unprecedented, shrouding yourself in mystery at nearly every juncture. It is your signature, however, that leads to your true identity.

It can be safely concluded that you have some association with Dopplereffekt, Drexciya, Japanese Telecom, Underground Resistance and even Ultradyne. You’re too old school to be mistaken for new school; the classic Detroit ’80s electro sound runs through your every last vein. But something here on this latest project, Lifestyles of the Laptop Café, is different. Other People Place, have you grown tired of the arctic wind of Dopplereffekt and Drexciya? Has your machine found its soul? Your vocal enhancements are only minimally treated with disguising effects. In fact, there is warmth that travels through those words and through those sounds. Cuts such as “It’s Your Love” and “Let Me Be Me” hint at your alternate aliases, but there is now a new emotion. Exit the long-distance flirtations with technology, cold media fronts, fascism and the gargantuan club atmosphere. Enter a collection of songs that speaks directly to your listener in a warm, calming tone.

OPP, I understand your methods. Lest we curious satisfy our need for those trifling details — and then dangerously file them and move on — you’ve left it all to speculation. Simply listen and learn, and forget the rest, I suppose. Thus the no-frills and at times stenciled artwork. Oh, yes, I realize that you would set the record straight if that were what you wanted to do. You’ve made connections with record establishments such as International DJ Gigolos and Warp (which simply lists you as “a mysterious Detroit artist”) and still what you allow the public to know is limited. What we do know is that you do not come in peace. But we also know that you come just in time.

E-mail comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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