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Von Magnet - Ni Predateur Ni Proie

On Ni Predateur Ni Proie the Euro-art collective Von Magnet offer a daring theatrical piece based around the continual conflicts of today, a world of battles where we are forced to choose sides. The entire album evokes a feeling of war, particularly of the Middle Eastern variety. Von Magnet remain musical dissidents, opting not to choose sides - Neither Predator or Prey, as the translated title implies.

The sounds on Ni Predateur Ni Proie veer from industrial, electronics, to dance music with a strong ethnic flavour. Several tracks feature flourishes of flamenco guitar and eastern styled rhythms feature prominently. 'Instead' rumbles to thunderous percussion and buzzing blasts of electronics but the percussion really takes over on 'Capricious Horse (Who Leads The)?' that bursts through various passages of hand percussion, continually changing tone and rhythm. Ni Predateur Ni Proie works best, however, when the percussion and electronics collide as on 'Minefield Dance', where the rolling drums and electronic barrage meet eastern hand percussion and chanting. Or on 'Growing vs Fading' with its contrast between spoken male and sung female voices over thunderous percussion and electronic beats. There's a great David Sylvian line here too!

Elsewhere sad, lamenting strings feature on 'Into the Breach' and 'Mann Hinter Dem Vorhang' with the former featuring flourishes of flamenco guitar before settling into thumping electronics, while 'Mann Hinter Dem Vorhang' sets passionate female singing to eastern beats.

There's a cinematic feel to much of the album largely due to the war ravaged voices that feature on 'Into the Breach', 'Kedma', and 'Mann Hinter Dem Vorhang'. Tracks like 'Bare Hand's and 'Kedma' veer close to reportage, especially on 'Kedma' which features exasperated, breathing and location recordings. But then there's 'Mostar Angels' where hand percussion, flickering electronic rhythms and female vocals like some ethnic percussive techno act.

Ni Predateur Ni Proie is an interesting collusion of styles but unless you're keen on ethnic percussion or electronic dance, unlike Von Magnet who choose not to pick sides, your choice is made much easier. For more information go to