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Record Review - 5 August 08 2001

There are generally two types of electronic musicians these days: those who treat machines like they can express something human, and those who treat machines expressly inhumane. As laptop punk gains popularity, it will mirror the late '70s — there will be more abuse than use of instruments.

But for every digital terrorist like Aphex Twin, Kid606 and V/VM, whom you have to admire just for the sheer virtuosity with which they fuck shit up, there will one day hopefully be at least one Jake Mandell, Neutral, Plastiq Phantom or Marumari.

Rhode Island's Marumari is a computer animator by day, and you can feel it in his gentle, wispy songs. You can almost imagine a cherubic cartoon train puffing little rings of smoke from side to side as it snakes through the windswept, open plateau of Marumari's fantasia. Supermogadon rains radiance, rays of new wave and new-age synths showering the thin basslines and clicking freshly cut underbrush in a warm glow. It's melody and machinery, living together in perfect harmony. It's bubbly. It's refreshing. It tickles your nose. It's pop, plain and simple.

Supermogadon features just enough of the skitter and shuffle of "traditional" Intelligent Dance Music that IDM fans won't feel the need to retreat to their well-worn Front 242 records to recharge, but the majority of the album is left open for Marumari to embrace ambience. Nowhere does the tempo rage to the scuffing pace of many of Marumari's contemporaries. Supermogadon instead envisions a harmonious alien world of the future, and what a bright future it is.??