BT: Movement in Still Life

[5 June 2000]

By Eden Miller

There is no reason for BT to not be a star. With his amazing gift for mixing hip-hop, electronica, and rock into transcendently danceable music, BT has been a club favorite for years in Europe for years. His obvious talent aside, U.S. promoters have failed to capitalize on BT’s good looks and personality in selling his records. With the interest given to such artists as Fatboy Slim and Moby, in the right hands, BT would become the next big thing to hit electronica.

While he has gained some recognition for his collaboration with Tori Amos on “Blue Skies” and for his contributions to the soundtrack of the movie Go, BT remains mostly unknown in the U.S. Movement In Still Life took six months to be released in the U.S. on Nettwerk (despite the fact BT grew up in Maryland) and it bears only some resemblance to its European counterpart (BT chose to change the track listing, reordering the song and replacing four).

Still, Movement in Still Life is an incredible work, showcasing all of BT’s skills as a DJ and musician. Purposely non-cohesive, Movement in Still Life takes joys in crossing genres, from hip-hop (“Smartbomb”), to trance (“Godspeed”) to modern rock (“Shame”). The results are exciting and fascinating.

Despite the fact some of BT’s more interesting work occurs in the collaborations he participates in, like with M. Doughty from Soul Coughing on the infectious “Never Gonna Come Back Down” and the graceful Kristy Hawkshaw from Opus III on “Dreaming” and “Running Down the Way Up,” BT takes vocal duties for the first time on Movement in Still Life. His passionate voice on the dark “Shame” and soaring “Satellite” reveal BT to be a complexly gifted musician.

Because of its disconnected nature Movement in Still Life feels more like a collection of songs rather than an album. Thematically, the songs have little to do with each other, and they don’t flow into each other. It sounds like a mixtape more than an album, which is why it is amazing that all of these tracks share the same creator.

Movement in Still Life proves that BT is still pushing the boundaries of traditional electronic music with his extraordinary skills. If this album does not make him a star, something else will.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/bt-movement/