Mars Lasar - BigBox - Style: Electronica
An audio visionary design machine for time-travels into invisible networks of tomorrow - a form for the increasingly formless data dance of the future. Animated by the production genius of Mars Lasar, BigBox is dream cinema for your ears and e-motional synthesis of high-tech groovology and advanced digital sound manipulation. Simmering within are eleven explosive tracks infused with hacker agility and the surreal pluralism of harmonic realities discharged in continuous hi-res feeds. Whether the hard trip-hop of Psyc Upload, the potent techtronica of Beta Fury, or the spirited drum 'n' bass of Connect 5, BigBox mainlines metapixels to your brain at a 10,000 gigabytes a second. Muscular rhythms generate an energy throb of extreme beat propulsion, uniting body and mind in crescendos of ever-increasing speed and focus. "Real-life" episodes are sampled through telescopic sensors like fleeting whispers tweezed from a megawatt rave. Sonic enzymes graft into hypertext interludes that spasm across multi-screens of the imagination. Shreds of found sound appear from nowhere, convulse the moment, and then dissolve like soft murmurs of new snow falling on the cipherous fiber of polychrome superhighways. With kicks of electric shock and the clarity of laser light, these densely packed musical movies repay numerous viewings for their edgy passion and intensely realized detail. The effect may be galvanic enough to spark an entire zeitgeist. In this respect, the bold audiovision of BigBox stands alone.
Reviewed by Bill Binkelman
Big Box is one of the new alter egos of new age keyboard player Mars Lasar. The eponymously titled CD from him as Big Box is a grab-bag of, if not almost a charted voyage through, the current state of electronica. Each of the eleven cuts seems to capture, usually with superb results, a subsect of modern-day club/dance/chill-out music, while putting Mars' signature stamp on it. It's hard to believe that someone with Lasar's background, or what I know of it, could compose and perform in these various genres with such ease. But, as I said, with almost unanimously positive results, he has done just that.
Opening with the infectious mid-tempo techno title number, propelled by beats and a sensuous lead synth line, the album launches itself into a groove that never lets up. "Clouds of Linen" has a strong acid jazz sense to it, funky and almost retro-disco-ish at times, the song could be placed on a Richard Bone CD (along with a few more on this CD). "Psyc Upload" is trip-hop with a chromium sheen, filled with neon and hard edges and burbling with all sorts of electronic mayhem. "Beta Fury" reminds me of high-quality industrial music, stripped of vocals of course. Think KMFDM minus the anti-fascism lyrics and a lot less screeching guitars. The cut sears laser beams into your spinal cord en route to your, ahem, other regions. Being a sucker for breakbeats and drum 'n' bass, I love "Connect 5" with a passion! Luscious liquid synth strings flow underneath the beats and rapid-fire rhythms along with percolating spacy synth notes. For me, this is the strongest track, but it's all about my preference in the end. Less well-liked by me, but still worth repeated listens, is the funky dubby "Tube Man." The frenetic rave number, "Bio Cell," is lots of fun, although a lightweight in the company of some of the other songs here.
BigBox is about the best introduction, short of a various artist compilation, to the assorted types of music that are labelled (by some, at least) as electronica in today's music industry. Production quality is excellent and despite the staggering variety of music, the album holds together admirably. While some may not like the lack of genre-focus and even consider it contrived, I don't share that view. I enjoyed the assortment of beats and synths. The over-riding texture here is, after all, fun. This is no serious or sombre ambient exploration. Instead, it's custom made for chair dancing or cranking it up and gyrating around the room. With that as its goal, BigBox is a big hit.
Reviewed by Brian Carter
HUGE DRAMATIC PROFESSIONAL SOUNDTRACK-TYPE MUSIC THAT YOU CAN DANCE TO…
According to artist Mars Lasar, the genius behind Big Box (the CD and its title song), his project is dream cinema for your ears.” He is right, and I wish everyone could make music this cool. I urge you to start listening to it right now as you read this review.
To start with, production sound on Big Box is top-notch. We have things moving between speakers (tastefully, not overdoing it), a variety of sounds, and not only techno/dance musical elements but also sci-fi sound effects. This would be a phenomenal movie soundtrack piece.
Mars knows when it's time for a change and is able to bring one about that fits with the other themes in the track. At times he breaks up the songs and turns up the drama with effective variations in rhythm. Returning to the original theme we know where we are. It makes sense and it's not too repetitive. We are constantly refreshed here. We don't get rammed in the head with or tired of any of the themes.
It sounds like a lot of attention was paid to this track as if it has been gone over again and again by a perfectionist so that nothing is too bare and nothing is too repetitive. Or it could be that with his years of experience and well-honed skills this is just the level at which he now works (he has said that the Big Box project practically flowed out of him without effort). I may just be projecting but this track seems a perfect example of the kind of values I hold in composition: variety, coherence, production quality, interest, excitement, and, of course, coolness.
Take a listen and rest assured you will be hearing some of the best electronic music out there.