Manitoba, Up in Flames

By Myke Atkinson

There aren’t many albums that make me sign my name to the statement: “this album will begin a revolution.” However, every once in a while, something truly special gets put to tape and even though it may not become the biggest selling album of all time, it will have hundreds of artists naming it as a great inspiration in the years to come. Up In Flames is one of those CDs.

Manitoba (a.k.a. Dan Snaith) created something truly special. Starting out with a wash of mumbling vocals and the entire catalog of Pink Floyd effects, the opening track, "I’ve Lived on a Dirt Road All My Life," takes its time to bask in spacey glory before breaking into a tribal beat that forces one to gyrate in uncontrollable ways. It’s like your first orgasm, but so much better.

The album continues on, and explores Snaith’s beautiful world of real samples, something electronic music is lacking all too much these days. Quite different from the intelligent dance music (idm for you electro freaks) he created on his debut record Start Breaking My Heart, Up In Flames has taken Manitoba in a completely fresh and exciting direction. Only recruiting the help of Koushik Ghosh for two tracks, Snaith takes electronic music and gives it a fresh coat of psychadia, something I can only dream of seeing live.

Just as the statement was made that "while not a lot of people heard the Velvet Underground, everyone that did started a band"; in five years time, we will hear a barrage of artists that have recorded their brilliant tributes to Manitoba, and life will be good.

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