Add N to (X) – Avant Hard

Add N To XI’ve been thinking back to the time BS (Before the Strokes), circa 1998-2000. That’s when I really started getting into music in a big way; I started reading music mags and I had a job which gave me plenty of disposable income, which I disposed of in plenty or record shops. This however, was a bleak time for music apparently. Britpop had disappeared up it’s own arse, and there was now prevalant scene for NME to pin their hopes up. Hundreds of new bands popped up, all sounding different than the last meaning it was pot luck pinning your hopes on one to do well. NME was busy ballsing it up backing crap like Terris and Campag Velocet, whilst letting the likes of Coldplay and Muse slip by fairly unoticed. For me, this was a fertile time; I was hearing new and different bands who embraced something greater than simply ripping the Beatles off. One of these bands were Add N to (X), a trio who made odd electronic music using a variety of analogue synths and vintage electronics but combing live bass and drums to create something that sounded truely unique.

In 1999 they released Avant Hard, their best album. It opened up with the strange, chugging “Barry 7’s Contraption”, an odd glitching bit of music that seemed to have a basic rhythm with lots of weird noises thrown on top of it. “Robot New York” had a jazzy beat, with swirling electronics seemingly surrounding it, whereas “Skills” powered through with a squelchy key board riff. “Fyuz” sounded like sierens going off, with oddly distorted vocals. “Revenge Of The Black Regent” is quite a grand track, with it’s string sampled intro, and it’s pulsating electronic bass line. Coupled with the gothic vocals in the middle and it’s quite a dark track. “Oh Yeah, Oh No” is another pulsating track and weirdly sensual.

“Machine Is Bored With Love” has a strange Euro-pop vibe to it, but again it’s a skewed song; the whistling is to shrill to make it a pleasant melody. “Metal Fingers In My Body” is probably the highlight with it’s powerful drum beat and it’s inscessant electronic whirl. Overall Avant Hard is a weird album; no doubt the combination of live instruments and less-than cutting edge electronics put off a lot of purists, but this is an album I still put on today and enjoy. You can probably pick it up for bugger all cash somwhere and I think it’d be worth it.

Add N To (x) – Metal Fingers In My Body (NSFW)


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