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'Theater Of A Confused Mind' is the work of Detroit mainstay Terrence Dixon, going under the alias Population One to add a whole bit of intrigue to the usual resilient techno works. It's been twenty years since his debut record for them, but he now returns to Rush Hour for a record of the trusty, reliable but always bold sounds he's known for.


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Theater Of A Confused Mind by Terrence Dixon
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8/10 Ant Staff review, 05 December 2014

‘Theater of a Confused Mind’ arrives twenty years after the debut Population One album ‘Unknown Black Shapes’ appeared on Utensil. Terrance Dixon recently announced he was retiring from music production, a sad loss to the techno community. Last years batch of 12”s on his reduction label were a masterclass in minimal techno and he seemed to have reached a creative high, so the news came as somewhat of a surprise. I guess this record could be considered his swansong.

You’d have to be pretty ignorant not to know the trouble the city of Detroit is currently facing and yet Dixon’s sound for the greater part of ‘Theater of a Confused Mind’ remains optimistic but there’s a lingering melancholy that adds extra emotional weight. Opening with the lush, dreamy melodic chimes of ‘Out Of Control’ his vocal ‘Detroit, out of control’ is like a love letter to his hometown, there’s a feeling of sadness for what could be considered a fallen city but what I like to think of as a city in transit. Next up is the supremely uplifting, highly infectious groove of ‘Code Urgent’ which is worth the entry price alone. ‘For Only You’ has snappy snares, swishy hi-hats and a bassline that sounds like a sampled double bass. ‘Battle For Space’ heads into sci-fi realms with pulsing synths, complex polyrhythms and eerie strings.

‘Inner City Circus’ as the title suggests has a chaotic intensity created by intricate layers of swirling malfunctioning merry-go-round synth and driving bassline. ‘All Together’ is a reduced stomper, with a thumper of a kick, ticking hi-hats and a hovering gliding synth. ‘My Own Shadow’ is a fine example of the artist's mastery of off-kilter funk complete with a gorgeous glistening synth that really elevates the track. Closer ‘All Of A Sudden’ makes me feel like I’ve been sucked into a wormhole, floating amongst the stars, hovering above the earth surveying the damage mankind has done to planet earth.

Dixon is bowing out in fine style with this album and he’s left a fantastic catalogue so all is not lost, but let’s hope he has a change of heart sometime in the not too distant future.


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