on February 1, 2001
Magnetophone, one of 4AD's latest signings after the departure of label chief Ivo Watts-Russell, specialize in a low-key brand of sonic noodling. Their first full album, I GUESS SOMETIMES I NEED TO BE REMINDED OF HOW MUCH YOU LOVE ME, is a unique achievement, but one that certainly wouldn't appeal to everyone.
Eschewing traditional instruments in favour of all manner of old electronic equipment, Magnetophone produce a fuzzy, vocal-less noise pop that seeks to answer the question "What is music?" While many of the songs here are unlistenable, other tracks such as "Oh Darlin'" and "Milk of the Commander" capture the listener's attention well. The album is all the more enjoyable to long-time 4AD fans because some of the tracks, especially "Frankenholmes Drive," evoke memories of the "Early Works" of Warren Defever (His Name is Alive).
I GUESS... is not for everyone. In fact, I suspect a lot of people will despair of 4AD because of it, but I'm glad to see a release this original. The album is all the more enjoyable because of the remarkable design by v23, which uses an envelope instead of a booklet in the CD case and whose back insert is only half-size.
on November 21, 2000
This CD will definitely not appeal to all, but it does something most music doesn't even try to do these days: experiment. Magnetophone are never going to fit in anywhere--neither as "electronica," nor as "avant-garde," but this bizarre exploration of the limits of what music can actually be is worth a listen. There's not much point, either, in comparing it to Aphex Twin, My Bloody Valentine with more keyboards, etc. 4AD took a real chance here, and continues a great tradition of signing superior instrumental acts.
on February 4, 2001
One of the best recent 4ad releases! Though it took me a while to appreciate the album, it was worth the patience. Don't expect the usual dance or ambient stuff, this is experimental at its best!! If you are a fan of the label and electronic music, this may be what you have been waiting for--great combination! The packaging of the cd is also quite innovative.