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The Manhattan Project | Atomic Bomb Party Vol. 2

Album review by John Powell

The Manhattan Project  | Atomic Party Bomb Vol. 2

Close your eyes. You’re in a high-ceilinged room. Neon green and pink lights swirl above you like an acid-dipped Heaven. Everyone has sweat through their clothes. Glow sticks swim around the dark dance floor. The floor bounces with each thump of bass from massive speakers. Your elated head spins off into another dimension.

Now open your eyes. You’re actually on your bed listening to The Manhattan Project’s new EP, Atomic Bomb Party Vol. 2. Still, the duo, Charlie Lindner on keyboards and Shawn Drogan on drums, have succeeded in producing romping electronica that will have you begging for their live shows- with added lighting tech NGB. That’s all this EP is, really, a taste to salivate you for getting down at a TMP concert.

Atomic Bomb Party Vol. 2 starts off with its strongest song. “Atomic” could go head-to-head with Deadmau5 or anyth ing found at the Love Parade, Berlin. It speckles in slowly, light bleeping and cymbal tapping. The bass comes in. The build isn’t too long, one minute, and then the beat. The synth melody is wonderful. Breakdowns and change- ups in beats, along with, what is that, synth hand claps highly effected? Sweet. There’s a token sample of a girl singing, “Yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah,” and then some bongos, a tempo change, it fades out. Whammo. Nice work, TMP!

“New World Anthem” has a bongo-beat and a synth melody that sounds like something Ace of Base came up with twenty years ago. Because it’s electronica, I can never be sure where the sounds are coming from, whether they’re mostly live playing on the keys or samples, but everything blends nicely. Live drums are key here, and any synth percussion isn’t over-the-top produced.

The third track, “When Worlds Collide”, isn’t so much a club song as meant for a rave out in a field somewhere. It’s slower, built on sliding synth strings and a moving bass line. Unlike it, “Infectious” sound like Medeski Martin and Wood if they up’d the ante. The drums seem taken from a Keith Moon solo and looped. It’s the least intense track, building over a minute and half but never climaxing like you hope it would.

“All My Friends”, the seven minute closer, takes its time coming in, again with token female vocals, this time it’s some soul sister singing “All my frie-e-ends.” The groove comes in and at almost two minutes the beat unleashes. It’s the most atmospheric song, driven by what sounds like a guitar, or something like it. Songs like this were meant for your baby-making playlist, if you know what I mean.

Because of the nature of the music, computerized and self-produced, the album sounds great on headphones, speakers, and in your car. Even at lower volumes Atomic Bomb Party Vol. 2 is recognizably dance-worthy.

Bottom Line: If you get off on Lotus or early Moby, then what are you waiting for with TMP?

 


 

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