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‘Technocrat’ hard to swallow, is numbing

‘Mission Statement’ more humor than dance music

Electronica is a taste difficult to spit out of the mouth and Si Begg, otherwise known as S.I. Futures, expounds on this with his latest recording effort.

Beggs, the so-called “technocrat” England native brings a sense of humor to techno music with his new album, The Mission Statement. According to a press release, Begg, who describes his musical influences ranging from Napalm Death to Frank Zappa, received his first record contract in 1994 when he released the Inevitable Technology on Thomas Heckmann’s Trope label.

Begg has recorded under a variety of guises, including Invetech, Bigfoot, Cabbage Boy and Buckfunk 3000. He is now working as a DJ in North London. The Mission Statement is his latest musical achievement and, although not particularly catered to any specific electronic music tastes, he has definitely hooked the fringe crowd with his tongue-in- cheek theme against corporate society.

With songs such as “Freestyle Disco” and “The News,” Beggs offers up an electronic beat that screams in the eardrums while assaulting the brain with funky interwoven messages. In “Freestyle Disco,” he uses these electronic beats together with an old disco dance lessons record. The effect is strangely haunting and hilarious at the same time. In “We are Not a Rock Band,” he follows a similar form except in an electronic voice it keeps repeating “we are not a rock band, but we can still rock the house,” achieving a humorous approach to a very stylistic type of music.

Although The Mission Statement could be hailed as an electronic dance album, it doesn’t seem very dance-friendly. It’s more of a political statement with a humorous slant. Mostly the songs are a bit too long and grate on the ears. The nearly six-minute “This is the Way” could almost create a headache if one turns it up too loud. Although electronic music was popularized in the 1980s with the rise of bands such as Depeche Mode and later in the ’90s with the explosion of Nine Inch Nails, straight up techno music leaves more than a lot to be desired.

Beggs, under S.I. Futures, makes a terrific attempt at lacing his techno music with a more melodic slant, but still can’t quite make it all the way. His political renderings are fascinating and funny, but it still doesn’t tickle all the right places musically.

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Electronica has been hailed as the next generation of music, but it will be a long while before it truly hits the mainstream. Beggs is working toward this goal and come a few years, it might actually hit the right eardrums and come out from the underground.

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