'Congratulations on being a big b-b-b-big fucking deal' intones Leslie Winer by way of introduction to the opener, The Blank Action. 'I'm sorry for your losses', but who's losses and why the biting sarcasm? Who cares.
Raster Noton's Olaf Bender (Byetone) and Carsten Nicolai (Alva Noto) have produced a collection of precision-tooled techno tracks with some vocal guests. One is Kyoka who, on Feel The Freedom, speaks in a language that I don't recognise, but it reminds me of a Devil-possessed child in a Horror film cursing would-be exorcists and that's a very good thing. Were You There must be the oddest rendering of an old spiritual song ever recorded, sung by Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant. What was originally written to mourn His crucifixion here sounds like an ironic satire on worshipfulness.
Science For A Better Life clearly signals the duo's self-confessed obsession with corporate sloganeering (CI stands for Corporate Identity). The potentially overbearing presence and power of imagined and real corporations have long been central to science-fiction and, in turn, Techno. Connecting People taps into the mechanised telephone voice machine that's familiar to us all by using various examples. It may be ironic that Techno should serve to illustrate technological anonymity, but what better medium is there for doing so?
Alva Noto brilliantly remixed John Cale's Catastrofuck in 2012 and has once again proved that he can blend robust rhythms with vocals. A word on those rhythms; they're all first-rate, tough but lean, punching hard and to the point.