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Terre Thaemlitz - Lovebomb / Ai No Bakudan
CD by Mille Plateaux
- TJ Norris

In Vital Weekly, Issue 360, February 19 2003.


Opening with what I can only gather as being a completely contorted bullfight between some obscure 70s pop soul diva ballad and a portioned piano theme with hints of traditional Japanese rhythm, Terre Thaemlitz continues to amaze and baffle. Lovebomb is a fermented marriage between stimulated electronics and foreign belligerence. With overtures of war imagery, this is Thaemlitz's voice among the minions, during a time of real world threat, reality sets in with a soundtrack bathed in asexual dissolution. The extensive liner notes aside, I decided to focus on the sound structures to allow for maximum clarity, non-biased reckoning, but please note that this record is a doozie when it comes to conceptual impact. In usual style, the themes here take dalliance from runs-in-stockings-like staccato repetition and robotic meandering to silent passages and classic reinterpretation. The title track is a spaceage theme, time travel perhaps suggesting a safe haven for its audience from insinuated unknown evils. This is uneasy listening, hardened by its genreless candor. Various samples are used to help illustrate a simulated, deconstructed "doom". There is a raw nerve cut in two here, a sensitivity to its time, a questioning of the larger world self. There are muffled dictators and barking leaders all hidden in scratchy vinyl grooves of time. Virtuosic piano solos fade in and out of these blips of encoded messages. This is a record for our time, a time that we will hopefully soon forget. Thaemlitz sanctimoniously puts the fear of god(dess) right between our ears. The warning signs are all collected seamlessly on Lovebomb. The tick-tocking Ai No Bakudan (Between Empathy and Sympathy is Time) seemingly exacerbates my asthma. This is a mindfu*k, a grande collision between our Jenny Jones speed culture and the reality that we should start burrowing our asses beneath our cities' subways. (TJN)