Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Late Review: Client Zerox Machine EP

(note: the following review was written ages ago)

Zerox Machine
Loose Talking
Zerox Machine (IDC Mix)
Zerox Machine (Jonny Slut/Atomizermix)
Zerox Machine (Robert Görl Strange Pistol Mix)
Zerox Machine (Club Mix By Covenant)

In a conspicuous break from the purely electronic pallet that colored their previous material Client have gone rock with their spunky version of Adam & The Ant's "Zerox Machine". Sarah Blackwood's vocal delivery reflects a consciousness that one does not expect to find in a run through a genre chestnut as she breaks up the phrasing of the word "copyright" so it becomes "copy, right?" turning the song into a response to the band's detractors that claim they simply imitate. The lyrics also touch upon ideas that Client have explored before such as identity, masking and control which further suggest the band's personal investment and ownership of the song. Despite the familiar lyrical touches the track's producer Youth plots a new course for the band musically as he brings a focus on "live" elements highlighting the work of Client's new bassist Emily Strange, the sharp rhythms of Blur associate Simon Tong's guitar and the machine-free drums laid down for the track. Even with the shift in style it is the theremin synth lead of Client's sonic architect Kate Holmes that brings the track to life during the chorus providing the link between old and new directions for the band.

"Loose Talking" finds the band using a lot more synths as they rework a number of familiar elements into a song that toys with sweet sadness. There are some promising bits but the song fails to follow through making for an unsatisfying listen.

Remixes of covers are always a dicey proposition because the distance from the original source material makes it difficult to find an unique angle but that problem is danced around here as parties from different scenes are given mixing duties. IDC play things straight incorporating much of the original while the confusingly named Jonny Slut/Atomizermix (thus named because they couldn't settle for just listing one alias that he records under) brings stutter edits and an electro flavor to the table. Recruiting D.A.F. member Robert Görl for a mix must have been quite a moment for Client as they list them as a major influence but Görl turns in an oddly unmusical mix that adds a bit of occasional 16th note trance synths to an uninspired beat leaving the affair a lost opportunity. Ultimately it is Covenant that bring the goods with their EBM flavored mix that takes the liberty to ignore much of the original as they form an effective dark dance track.

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