Remember the abomination that was Strobe Talbot? It involved Half Japanese's Jad Fair fronting a synth-pop band, and that band was horrible. It's a relief to be able to report that Von SÃ¼denfed ' the synthesis of Fall curmudgeon Mark E. Smith and warped dance duo Mouse on Mars ' isn't a similarly indigestible mess. Smith is reliably myopic, utterly indecipherable and throughly entertaining, but MoM's willingness to underplay its hand here makes Tromatic Reflexxions
crazy fun. The usual gussied-up IDM is ditched to concentrate on blaring bare-bones techno and Big Beat-downs for Smith's hobo-with-a-mic babbling to slip in and out of; these are throbbing, lopsided beats, the muffled remarks sometimes encircling the music in thrilling loops that in essence transform the Smith into a rapper, of all things. The itchy-scratchy synths that storm 'Floodedâ?� frequently threaten to erase the singer's vocals altogether, only to knock them into echoing free-fall before Smith gathers his half-wits for another blurt-squirt of jabber.