“We Want to Rock”, the new album by Nega Blast X is supremely, relentlessly, even ruthlessly melodic, and laden with irresistible momentum throughout. It grooves determinedly and hangs together as an album too – the tracks offer respite and reflection at just the right moments and well-judged enthusiasm and vigor, too. Nothing arrives at the wrong time or outstays its welcome. Nega Blast X is a trance techno industrial music project formed in 2010 by Burbank music arranger and author Dominic R Daniels.
The incredibly taut edge of the arrangements on this album is overwhelmingly focused, and manages to both sound incredibly ‘futuristic’ and ‘retro’. This combination of familiarity and newness is consistent, and makes “We Want to Rock” something far more than just an exercise in nostalgia. There’s plenty here to stand proudly alongside – the way “Dream Time” switches textures and beats back and forth, or how “For the Angels That Weep” builds and releases tension and emotion.
Electronic music has long suffered the misconception that it is a cold, mechanical, and soulless style, a misconception no doubt fueled by coupling a lack of familiarity with the genre and our own entertainment industry’s portrayal of certain technologies. That an electronic album can function as an artistic statement just as well as a rock album and not simply serve as a medium for collecting singles, is confirmed by this recording.
The songs on “We Want to Rock” are constructed methodically, according to a set pattern of mutation that persists more or less throughout the album. This grants the album its uncanny integrity. Each track typically proceeds in a cumulative fashion, establishing a central motif around which successive layers are then added.
As new elements enter in, others recede into the background or fade entirely, only to reappear in fresh combinations later in the song. Every part simulates the whole to which it belongs, similar in this way to a fractal.
Nega Blast X weave together the constituent parts of his beats in a manner that almost approximates a lemniscuses infinity of fiery rhythms and growling synths. Resulting in energy-driven standouts like “Centipede”, “Electric Sex”, “Technotronic” and “Tribal Sunday”.
The various juxtapositions he explores in the course of his song’s unfolding, offers a range of different moods. Just as each song is capable of exhibiting a number of moods, so also does Nega Blast X refuse to restrict himself to any single mood for the “We Want to Rock” album. Hence the record spans a vast emotional field, from the human to the downright menacing.
“We Want to Rock” is loaded with an immense amount of goodies; piercing, yet completely out-of-the-ordinary melodies, dense percussion, and stylish hi-energy keyboard layouts that you probably wouldn’t find on many other electronic releases currently.
Basically, the most positive aspect here is the musical integrity. It’s extremely crafty, and definitely significant in every way possible and is very accessible too. “We Want to Rock” is an exuberant triumph and a worthwhile addition to your collection.