BT: The Technology EP

Christine Klunk


The Technology EP

Label: Nettwerk America
US Release Date: 2004-04-20
UK Release Date: 2004-05-03

When listening to trance music, one must consider the time and place of its origination. One must also take into account the artist and his/her relation to that origination. Was he or she there at the beginning? If the answer is no, then really, what is he/she worth? Honestly, how much has the genre changed since its beginnings in the early '90s? There's the throbbing beat, the escalation to several inevitable and necessary climaxes, the breathy vocals, and, of course, the synths from outer space. Variations exist, naturally, but the genre of trance is just about worn out simply because the beat will always be big, the rolling dancer will always want the song to reach several climaxes, and finally, there are a finite number of sounds that can emerge from a synthesizer that are aesthetically pleasing.

Okay, then there's BT (a.k.a. Brian Transeau). The trend of tired trance doesn't apply to BT because he was one of the pioneers of the genre. I'm making up a rule here. When you're partially responsible for the most popular sub-genre in a genre of music, you can continue to make that kind of music even after is ceases to sound original because you thought it up in the first place. Maybe this is a stupid rule that doesn't mean anything, but my point is, because of BT's vital role, I don't mind if his records and his remixes all sound pretty much alike. The Technology EP, a six-song EP of remixes from his latest full-length, Emotional Technology, definitely falls into the category of tired trance. But the songs don't blow, so that's a plus.

BT, an artist with a couple years at Berklee and a 10-year musical career under his belt, took quite a risk working with *NSYNC's JC Chasez. That crooner's solo career hasn't really done too much because his songs are terrible. He moved up in the world when he co-wrote "The Force of Gravity" with BT. The original edit, clocking in at just under four minutes, is a tightly crafted and nearly flawless pop song -- great baseline, soaring vocals, escalating rythms -- the whole bit.

The "Tiesto Remix" is just as good, if not better for it's catchy synth riff and decreased emphasis on Chasez's vocals. Most trance songs are better for their instrumental ingenuity rather than vocals, simply because the lyrics are either trite phrases about love or outer space. The "Dylan Rhymes Push Up Mix" has a much more upbeat rhythm, one that might indeed inspire pushups -- until the rhythms numbed the brain. At just under 10 minutes, this track's sole purpose is to put the listener/dancer into the veritable trace.

"Superfabulous", featuring Rose McGowan interestingly enough, is a fast-paced ditty about being super-fabulous. McGowan does her best Shirley Manson impression, deadpanning her lines with a smirk that's almost visible through the music. If you like your songs to have a recognizable beginning, middle, and end, stick with the "Scott Humphrey Radio Mix", although the eight-minute "Compufonic 12"" remix does feature a decent disco beat.

"The Great Escape" closes the EP with an extended remix of the album version: the "Attention Deficit" remix. After 10 minutes of the same thing over and over, even the most patient and attentive listener would develop the aforementioned disorder.

BT is an excellent and innovative programmer as well as a talented musician. He helped pioneer the genre of trance music. The songs on the Technology EP are remixes by other trance artists. They're respectable, but tired. BT should keep a hold on his own material, be responsible for the genre whether or not it sounds worn out.

From genre-busting electronic music to new highs in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and Americana to rock and pop, 2017's music scenes bestowed an embarrassment of riches upon us.

60. White Hills - Stop Mute Defeat (Thrill Jockey)

White Hills epic '80s callback Stop Mute Defeat is a determined march against encroaching imperial darkness; their eyes boring into the shadows for danger but they're aware that blinding lights can kill and distort truth. From "Overlord's" dark stomp casting nets for totalitarian warnings to "Attack Mode", which roars in with the tribal certainty that we can survive the madness if we keep our wits, the record is a true and timely win for Dave W. and Ego Sensation. Martin Bisi and the poster band's mysterious but relevant cool make a great team and deliver one of their least psych yet most mind destroying records to date. Much like the first time you heard Joy Division or early Pigface, for example, you'll experience being startled at first before becoming addicted to the band's unique microcosm of dystopia that is simultaneously corrupting and seducing your ears. - Morgan Y. Evans

Keep reading... Show less

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less

So far J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson resemble children at play, remaking the films they fell in love with. As an audience, however, we desire a fuller experience.

As recently as the lackluster episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga, the embossed gold logo followed by scrolling prologue text was cause for excitement. In the approach to the release of any of the then new prequel installments, the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, followed by the Lucas Film logo, teased one's impulsive excitement at a glimpse into the next installment's narrative. Then sat in the movie theatre on the anticipated day of release, the sight and sound of the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare signalled the end of fevered anticipation. Whatever happened to those times? For some of us, is it a product of youth in which age now denies us the ability to lose ourselves within such adolescent pleasure? There's no answer to this question -- only the realisation that this sensation is missing and it has been since the summer of 2005. Star Wars is now a movie to tick off your to-watch list, no longer a spark in the dreary reality of the everyday. The magic has disappeared… Star Wars is spiritually dead.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.