1- Intel Pentium 4, 3.0 GHz, 1024GB RAM
Computers have changed the way electronic music is being made. Technology is a beautiful thing. I'd probably be considered a technophile. Richard Devine is obviously a technophile as well. On "Asect:Dsect," he takes technologically-driven electronica to an insane level. Most of this, apparently, is recorded in 24-bit, 96khz stereo. For lay people like myself, that means: high tech shit. He uses an assortment of blips and bloops along with highly processed, highly industrialized beats. Devine pieces his tracks together in such a way that it's an art. As I listen to this record, I almost feel like I am a computer and this what my every day life is like. It's kind of frightening.
2- The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions
I liked "The Matrix." The plot and the acting were kind of lame, but the special effects and overall experience were wonderful and intense. I felt like the ending of the original gave a sense of closure and there was no need for additional pictures. Well, Hollywood is run by the dollar bill and what better way to cash in than by making sequels? The subsequent two movies prove there can be too much of a good thing. While the original movie was revolutionary, the other two were has-been's rehashing their hit song from 20 years ago for the fiftieth time. Like The Matrix trilogy, "Asect:Dsect" is plagued with some of the same issues. The technology being used is impressive, but Devine relies on it too much. There's a lack of substance here. There are not enough notes and very little sense of melody. I feel like I'm watching the scene in the first Matrix movie where Keanu wakes up in his little pod and sees the towers of millions of the same pods being tended to do by robotic aliens. It's a good scene because it's short, but it would be boring if half the movie was just that scene.
3- Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations"; Max Weber's theories of Bureaucracy
Adam Smith was the father of the Industrial Revolution. None of us would be doing anything we're doing today if it weren't for his ideas on division of labor. Richard Devine seems intent on soundtracking the assembly line floor. Most of this album is as cold and mechanical as the machines used to assemble tanks. It's all sheet metal and iron rods. If you've ever visited any sort of manufacturing plant, you know there's absolutely nothing inviting about it. You walk in and instantly want to turn around and go home. Much of Devine's music is like this. It's too rough and harsh to penetrate; you just want to take your ball and go to a playground set in sand, not cement. The real problem is that there are moments on this album that are delightfully soaked in Squarepusher-ish IDM. "Isuko" is steeped in Tom Jenkinson. It's fast and precise, and the quick synth notes bounce from left to right at the perfect times. These moments are just too hard to find.
4- The Pythagorean Theorem
Mathematics and geometry and all that crap you learned in high school is all about precision. There are very specific ways you work problems to come up with the right answer. One little falter and you end up with an F on your quiz. Much like math, Devine's music is meticulous. It seems like each millisecond has been worked on for hours so that nothing is out of place, and every beat pops at exactly the right time. It's impressive. I've often wanted to delve into electronic music, but fear I don't have the patience to deal with it. Devine has obviously got some patience to spare. It's a blessing and a curse, though, because I like music to have a little breathing room. If it's wound too tight, it feels overly produced and sterile. The brilliant aspects of the music get lost in the production.
5- Tandoori Chicken from India Express
I remember once when my friend Raydene and I were hungover, starving, and didn't want to go anywhere for dinner. We looked in the phonebook and decided we'd try this place near her apartment called India Express. It had received pretty good reviews in local papers and neither of us had tried Indian food at that point (it wasn't readily available in Tulsa 4 years ago). It seemed like such a good idea, but as soon as we tried the chicken, we both thought we were going to be sick. It had all these elements of things I really liked, but when they were all put together it just became dry and bland. I mean, it was chicken! Cooked in a clay oven! From India! That sounds good, doesn't it? Well it wasn't, and we were left hungry and annoyed. 4/10 -- Brad Rose (25 May, 2005)