Timo Maas - Loud

Up until now Timo Maas has been known more for his remixes of Madonna, Fatboy Slim and Placebo than his own productions but with the recent release of the single "To get Down" the focus is solely on Timo Mass the artist. The work of Maas and his partner in crime, the ever elusive Martin, "Loud" looks set to pick up where Norman Cook left off. The problems are ever apparent that with a couple of exceptions this album is essentially yet another soul-less dance record.

While the focus for some people will be the collaborations with Kelis and Finley Quaye, it is the relatively unknown MC Chickaboo on "Shifter" where things really fall into place. An insistent throbbing base line underpins Chickaboo's reggae spin. "Help Me", the famed Kelis collaboration, sounds uncannily like Allstars "Bump In The Night" with gothic cartoon horror synths. "Caravan" featuring Finley Quaye is perhaps a more successful but still have a way to go to match Finley's last solo album and lost classic "Vanguard".

"Loud" could have been made at any time over the past 10 years and yet it still feels like an irrelevant release. With the exception of the previous singles "To Get Down" and "Ubik" much of this album falls in the meaningless void between commercial dance music and the real innovators. Inoffensive apologetic beats, melodies with no traceable tune and an almost overkill on the electronics. While the likes of Lo-Fidelity Allstars, Basement Jaxx or the Chemical Brothers add an almost human soul to each and every recording, Timo Maas simply shows us the worst examples of the electronic age

Alex McCann

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