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Daniel Lenz - Stuck in a Dream

Stuck in a Dream

Daniel Lenz

Available from iTunes.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

At last count, there were, I believe, 6,798,358,231,656,674 separate sub-phyla in the electronica field...but I might be off by one or two on that. This Daniel Lenz is not the more famous Daniel Lentz (note the 't') of avant-garde/neoclassical fame but instead a young gent who spent time in the techno-electronica-rave-etc. gulfs as Psykosonik, finding his way through the club morass (including headlining gigs at Prince's Glam Slam) to arrive rather nicely at the doorstep of cinema and well-known rockers like Alice Cooper. If you've seen Beowulf, CSI, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Daredevil, or Mad Men, you've heard his work, probably without knowing it unless you're a credits junkie. Most people aren't.

The fifteen cuts here are unbelievably clean, Lenz's professional chops shining through like a beacon, and occupy a fairly "traditional", if such an adjective can be used in the genre, slot in the electronica firmament: recognizable beats, looping motifs, futuristic ambiance, synths everywhere, etc. I hasten to add that these are virtues, what with all the other slop and ill-considered shlaga clogging the airwaves under the guise of "radical" exercises…really little more than fragmented nonsense. For this disc, however, think Tron, Men in Black, Blade, that kind of thing.

I hesitate mightily to compare Stuck in a Dream to John Foxx's Metamatic, a shatteringly brilliant LP, but there are more than a few kindrednesses in its cold wave virtues, not the least of which is a 3-D transparency offset by excellent negative spaces. Foxx was barrenly progressive, glacial, where Lenz is quite satisfied to remain more social, warmer, less forbidding, but not exactly a Lawrence Welk, not by a long shot. Now that E/I magazine is thankfully dead, it's pathetic e-blog existence likewise cold as a mackeral and twice as smelly, I'm not sure there are many venues of critical exposure for this kind of work in the States, but it'll be interesting to see how such an old school disc will go over (release date: February 2009). The Autechre crowd will blanch, the Nibblockheads'll pish-tush and pooh-pooh while the Ibiza faction is gonna sigh and shake its Margarita head, but Stuck in a Dream constitutes a very attractive package bursting with muscular riffs, insistent forward motion, militant bipedal refrains, rave crazy legs, and even a chill-out or two (Fade" and "Accume, with Brent Daniels, and Alex's Lounge are killer). An hour-long immersion, the release allows listeners more than ample time to give themselves over to the crushing, invigorating, glaze-eyed, and subterranean delights of art from an avenue much deserving this revisitation.

Track List:

  • I Do It Again
  • Check It Out
  • Stuck in a Dream
  • Turn Around
  • Push the Tempo
  • I'm Crazy
  • This and That
  • That's the Way
  • Give Me More
  • Time to Rock
  • Fade
  • Accume
  • Go It Alone
  • Alex's Lounge
  • Aliens
All songs written by Daniel Lenz.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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