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Terre Thaemlitz, G.R.R.L.
- Timothy Appnel

In Oculus Magazine, August 1997.

new sounds new views

G.R.R.L. is eleven, beat-oriented tracks of electronica with a retro, sometimes quirky, tongue-in-cheek delivery. Unlike previous releases, Thaemlitz pulls out the cheese and puts it on in heaping mounds. Every cliché loop, hook, sample and break of techno music and beyond is in here. On "Rollerfreak" Thaemlitz even goes as far as to delve into break dancing.

Despite the spoofing nature of the disc, some of the tracks carve a serious groove. "B.O.I." and "Gew-Gaw" are the best straight-up dance tracks, with their manic snare drum rhythms and airy synth lines. "Princess" is a catchy tune that juxtaposes a continuously panning drum loop with a fairy tale harp. Some tracks are just downright annoying, such as "Triangle," which drones on for nearly 10 minutes with little more than a solitary metronome beat that occasionally breaks for a triangle chime. While I listened to the repetitive "Troll," a co-worker asked if I was playing the sound of my hard drive being formatted over my speakers.

It's good to see Thaemlitz lighten up a bit and have some fun, something absent from his more "serious" electro-acoustic efforts such as Soil and Couture Cosmetique. Thaemlitz's fun is not your usual gag humor, but rather a mocking sarcasm deeply rooted in sociopolitical dissertations that are at the center of his work.

-Timothy Appnel
 August 1997

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