Review: BT These Hopeful Machines (Nettwerk Records) - EMusician

Review: BT These Hopeful Machines (Nettwerk Records)

BT (aka Brian Transeau) is bringing the dance party straight to your headphones. His latest opus, These Hopeful Machines, is a two-disc affair that can be downloaded as two separate MP3s. There''s no shuffling through the album, picking and choosing your favorite track.
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BT (aka Brian Transeau) is bringing the dance party straight to your headphones. His latest opus, These Hopeful Machines, is a two-disc affair that can be downloaded as two separate MP3s. There''s no shuffling through the album, picking and choosing your favorite track. Instead, BT is harkening back to the days when cover art meant something and you secluded yourself in your bedroom, popped on the headphones and listened to an album—gasp!—in its entirety. Always a musician/producer/composer on the cutting edge, he''s well aware that his audience will download his music onto a mobile player, but he''s giving these MP3-hungry listeners a chance to listen to an album in the way that an artist went out to create it—as a whole, as an entity that lives and breathes.

With the physical CD you could skip from track to track, but why would you want to? Besides the fact that each track is around 10 minutes long, they blend so seamlessly together, with lush ambiences, hip-hop beats, glitchy breakbeats created with BT''s own software (Breaktweaker), studded guitar licks, beautifully sung vocals, and the venerable dance hits for which he is known. BT is truly an artist and whether or not you dig the dance club scene, his music is something to be studied because his production techniques are top-notch. Or as BT says, “My ultimate goal is to keep the emotional counterpoint and the integrity of the song intact, even when pushing the envelope with style and technique.”

Production, arrangements, analog and modular synths, and bass by BT. Additional production by Andrew Bayer and Laurent Veronnez (aka Airwave). Recording/mixing: BT, Greg Collins, Bayer. Studio: ((Halo)). Mastering: Emily Lazar and Joe Laporta/The Lodge (New York City).
—Sarah Benzuly

Also: BT's New Skool Breakbeat Science.