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SebastiAn|Total

Total

Sebastian

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Seemingly influenced just as much by Daft Punk's work ethic as their musical M.O., the hard-partying gallic hordes at Ed Banger records may be capable of some massively adrenalized, barnstorming electro-house, but they're sure in no hurry about it. In 2011, four years after Justice's watershed debut album, a follow-up from that label flagship was only beginning to appear on the horizon (see also Germany's like-minded Digitalism); meanwhile, the shadowy SebastiAn, who'd been issuing singles (and at least one compilation's worth of remixes) on Ed Banger since 2005, was just getting around to his first full-length. At least he took the "full" part seriously enough: Total boasts a staggering 22 tracks. True, a third of them are brief, spurt-like interludes under a minute long, and SebastiAn could theoretically have crammed almost another half-hour of music on here, but anybody not ready to cry for mercy after 50 minutes is made of steely stuff indeed. The experience is a bit like somebody scanning slowly across a radio dial, catching snatches of classic rock, soul, disco, funk, punk, metal, and even classical music (check the harpsichord trills on the delectable, too-short "Tetra," produced with Justice's Gaspard Auge), all with the equalizer settings permanently stuck on hyper-compressed bombast, and occasionally lingering on the static between stations just for the sheer agony and ecstasy of it all. Especially with the interludes ensuring a total dearth of silence between tracks, Total can feel pretty monolithic, and certainly, nothing here strays too far from the sort of scuzzy, overdriven, body-slamming rock-techno that's pretty much synonymous with Ed Banger, but there are some intriguing diversions along the way. Lead single "Embody" is a smooth, strutting, electro-R&B confection boasting woozily crooned talk-box vocals, and several other stand-outs feature a similarly soulful vibe, including the atypically breezy lounge-pop cut-up "Arabest" and the swaggering paisley chug of "Love in Motion" (featuring retro-soulster Mayer Hawthorne in a vocal performance so processed and mixed-down it might as well be a sample.) Elsewhere, Total cleaves to SebastiAn's more familiar, trashy, glitch-funk maximalism, including a few retooled old singles (the name-making 2006 spazzfest "Ross Ross Ross," the petulant whine and grind of "Motor") and a few similarly styled new productions. The most brutal barrages, though, come with "Doggg"'s screamo-disco and the fairly tepid electro-punk M.I.A. collabo "C.T.F.O." ("chill the fuck out," ironically enough.) Whether you'll want to cherry-pick favorites or wade through the whole unwieldy mess may depend on context (and your personal level of tolerance), but there's no denying that, a half-decade late or not, SebastiAn has delivered.
© K. Ross Hoffman /TiVo

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Total

SebastiAn

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1
Hudson River
00:00:50

Sebastian, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

2
Love In Motion
00:03:05

Sebastian, interprète - Mayer Hawthorne, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

3
Tough Games (Interlude)
00:00:40

Sebastian, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

4
Embody
00:03:45

Sebastian, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

5
Ross Ross Ross
00:03:39

Sebastian, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

6
Fried
00:04:03

Sebastian, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

7
Kindercut
00:04:06

Sebastian, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

8
Water Games (Interlude)
00:00:37

Sebastian, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

9
Total
00:01:21

Sebastian, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

10
Jack Wire (Instrumental Version)
00:02:44

Sebastian, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

11
C.T.F.O.
00:02:55

Sebastian, interprète - M.I.A, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

12
Cartoon (Interlude)
00:00:34

Sebastian, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

13
Arabest
00:03:16

Sebastian, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

14
Prime
00:03:06

Sebastian, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

15
Mean Games (Interlude)
00:00:53

Sebastian, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

16
Tetra
00:02:54

Sebastian, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

17
Motor
00:04:03

Sebastian, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

18
Night (Interlude)
00:00:46

Sebastian, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

19
Yes
00:03:42

Sebastian, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

20
Bird Games (Interlude)
00:00:37

Sebastian, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

21
Doggg
00:03:12

Sebastian, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

22
Frustra (Outro)
00:00:26

Sebastian, interprète

2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music 2011 Ed Banger Records under exclusive license to Because Music

Album Description

Seemingly influenced just as much by Daft Punk's work ethic as their musical M.O., the hard-partying gallic hordes at Ed Banger records may be capable of some massively adrenalized, barnstorming electro-house, but they're sure in no hurry about it. In 2011, four years after Justice's watershed debut album, a follow-up from that label flagship was only beginning to appear on the horizon (see also Germany's like-minded Digitalism); meanwhile, the shadowy SebastiAn, who'd been issuing singles (and at least one compilation's worth of remixes) on Ed Banger since 2005, was just getting around to his first full-length. At least he took the "full" part seriously enough: Total boasts a staggering 22 tracks. True, a third of them are brief, spurt-like interludes under a minute long, and SebastiAn could theoretically have crammed almost another half-hour of music on here, but anybody not ready to cry for mercy after 50 minutes is made of steely stuff indeed. The experience is a bit like somebody scanning slowly across a radio dial, catching snatches of classic rock, soul, disco, funk, punk, metal, and even classical music (check the harpsichord trills on the delectable, too-short "Tetra," produced with Justice's Gaspard Auge), all with the equalizer settings permanently stuck on hyper-compressed bombast, and occasionally lingering on the static between stations just for the sheer agony and ecstasy of it all. Especially with the interludes ensuring a total dearth of silence between tracks, Total can feel pretty monolithic, and certainly, nothing here strays too far from the sort of scuzzy, overdriven, body-slamming rock-techno that's pretty much synonymous with Ed Banger, but there are some intriguing diversions along the way. Lead single "Embody" is a smooth, strutting, electro-R&B confection boasting woozily crooned talk-box vocals, and several other stand-outs feature a similarly soulful vibe, including the atypically breezy lounge-pop cut-up "Arabest" and the swaggering paisley chug of "Love in Motion" (featuring retro-soulster Mayer Hawthorne in a vocal performance so processed and mixed-down it might as well be a sample.) Elsewhere, Total cleaves to SebastiAn's more familiar, trashy, glitch-funk maximalism, including a few retooled old singles (the name-making 2006 spazzfest "Ross Ross Ross," the petulant whine and grind of "Motor") and a few similarly styled new productions. The most brutal barrages, though, come with "Doggg"'s screamo-disco and the fairly tepid electro-punk M.I.A. collabo "C.T.F.O." ("chill the fuck out," ironically enough.) Whether you'll want to cherry-pick favorites or wade through the whole unwieldy mess may depend on context (and your personal level of tolerance), but there's no denying that, a half-decade late or not, SebastiAn has delivered.
© K. Ross Hoffman /TiVo

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