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Loud Mouth Records

A great band to see live, the five-member San Jose-based metal-rap outfit with two vocalists has a furious intensity onstage that's earned it one of the most loyal local fan bases around. With its third album, Insolence captures its raw energy more successfully than ever before. Full of funk grooves, deep bass lines and gale-force vocals, Universal showcases the band's strengths and diverse musical tastes, which range from reggae to industrial. Dialogues and monologues interspersed among the tracks give Universal the quality of a soundtrack, and the disc acknowledges the band's closeness to its supporters. It opens with a live recording of "Theory," during which the band addresses the audience: "Is there any Insolence-heads in the house?" "Lifted" (a personal favorite) opens with a young girl declaring, "My daddy's in Insolence, and he makes phat beats." (Sarah Quelland)

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It's a measure of how quickly the electronic-music scene mutates and reinvents itself that the latest album by Richie Hawtin (a.k.a. Plastikman) could inspire such nostalgia for the good ol' days of, say, 1991. A perfectly crafted piece of sophisticated Detroit techno, Artifakts is icy, beautiful and retro-futuristic--meaning that years ago, this is what we thought the future would sound like. Filled with insinuating synth melodies and spare, hypnotic beats, Artifakts will move your head as much as your body. If you listen to it on headphones, the waves of sound ricochet through your brain in a way that can only be described as psychedelic--the frequencies on "Hypokondriak" are so mind-warping they literally could induce either a trance or a panic attack. (Michelle Goldberg)

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From the January 28-February 3, 1999 issue of Metro.

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