Review Summary: the sound of speed is faster than the speed of sound
Michael Cassette's true identity is unclear, but "he" is believed to actually be a Finnish progressive house trio who made huge waves with the 12" releases "Shadow's Movement" and "Zeppelin" in 2007 and 2008 on the Anjunadeep record label. Now, with Temporarity, Michael Cassette collects most of the a-sides to their numerous singles over the past 3 years (minus "Winter" and "Summer") along with some brand new tracks. The result is a cohesive vision of Michael Cassette's edgy, innovate cult sound.
Michael Cassette rides high on the 80s revival of the new millenium that has seen a lot of breathtaking musical talent from a new generation of high-tech synth lovers born in the 1980s. Now, as they come of age, my generation is creating music that reflects that memorable time in our culture, while also looking ahead to the future and beyond.
Accordingly, Michael Cassette isn't strictly a retro-nostalgia act either. The band melds an older, familiar sound with big, wet dance beats that are fresh, current, and relevant. They end up accomplishing quite a feat in the process: sounding instantly classic yet bold and forward at the same time, which are the ingridients to any great work of art. I would categorize the songs on Temporarity as instrumental dance odysseys; most tracks are built on layers of swirling synths washes, stacatto percussion touches, and sparkling crystalized key melodies all over throbbing dance beats. It's perfect music for late night speed drives along highways, over bridges and through tunnels. For an obscure independent label, Michael Cassette has a very professional, skillful, rich sound. They also have something even talent can't always gaurantee: a terrific musical imagination.
Personal favorites include the stunning "Shadow's Movement", whose melodic core is deeply moving; the latest single "Ghost In the Machine", "Through the Windows" which has a nice vocal hook, and the thrilling "Zeppelin", a pulsating trek into a visual abyss of night and neon. The new songs include the opening and closing numbers as well as a cover of the 80s instrumental synth classic "Crockett's Theme". Michael Cassette does an already often-covered song great justice. Taken as a whole, the entire album is like unearthing the soundtrack to a lost new wave movie, but filtered through today's studio tools.
I recommend Michael Cassette for anyone who likes electronica. It's intelligent dance music. There is enough of a smart 'vintage' sound to elicit a smile, and plenty new twists and arrangements to engage the listener. Temporarity is a great debut. I look forward to what Michael Cassette has to offer in the future, as this is a promising start to a hopefully long and productive career. We're living in the second golden age of electronic music, and Michael Cassette is at the forefront of the movement.