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Go to the Passage website  Passage - The Forcefield Kids [Anticon - 2004]

Anticon and the 80's have always been connected. Odd Nosdam (cLOUDDEAD producer/other projects) uses numerous 80's sounding synths and feel which is present on many Anticon releases. With The Forcefield Kids Passage goes the whole hog. The album is dripping with 80's synth sounds. New age to punk-like song and sound structures, but above it all it still sounds fresh. Passage uses these elements as buildingblocks to make something new.

Like many Anticon releases it very much has its own personality and voice, ripe with the evolution, what we have come to adore Anticon for. Lyrical he mines the 80's obsession’s and fear of nuclear war and one song's even entitled Reagan's Chest.

There is still hip hop/rap as part of its DNA. But, as we've come to expect from Anticon, this is lightyears away from bland rehash of rap music that is peddled by the corporate machine. Let's face it: rap is 30 years plus now. For the most part is as tired as rock or even more so, relying on macho posturing and re-used samples.

The first track called Forcefield Intro marries Gary Numan-like synth with head nodding hip-hop beats, which starts things off nicely. Other highlights include Creature in the classroom, which breeds 80's keyboard throb with interesting beats and Passage's unique vocal delivery switching from rap to singing. Delivering great lines like "Zero hero knife fight, schedule of feedback, creatures in the classroom want advancement placement, hepatitis roof rats man your battle stations". The high melody synth of The unsung Harp joined by speed rap slipping into to a sing-song 80’s pop. The instrumental electro waltz of All The News Fit To Print or the Beach Boys vocals meet glitchy beats of Put Together, Play Red Ferrari Calendar Blob.

All of the 21 tracks barely reach above the 3 minute mark which works so well. No filler tracks in sight.

I think it's such a pity that few other labels can produce such quality and variation with each release. Looks a good year for Anticon with new Why? and band, Jel, Odd Nosdam and Themselves/the Notwist collaboration on the way.

Check out the two mp3 tracks from The Forcefield Kids at the Anticon-site.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Roger Batty
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