If Mirage looks like an Alan Parsons or Pink Floyd album from the '70s mixed with a bit of Underworld's usual minimalism, there's good reason. This elaborate and excellent album borrows elements from all those acts and both of those eras, but more than anything, it's big, bordering on epic, pumping and playing out like Underworld's Beaucoup Fish taking listeners on a journey like Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon but coming on with indie spirit, and with every element in place for a John Tejada remix. Aptly titled numbers abound as "Dynamo" chugs and sputters like Kraftwerk just got turned onto breaks and trap, while the indie dance anthem "Battlecry" could be successfully covered by Kasabian, the Klaxons, or the Shamen reunited. "Mirage, Pt. 1" and "Mirage, Pt. 2" add up to 12 minutes of blissful layered synth, temporarily allowing the listener to drift. Still, most of Mirage, the album, bursts out of the speakers with purpose and drive, especially "The Ism," which sounds as if an early-'90s hip-hop CD has gone hilariously haywire. The LP even kicks the listener outside with the life-affirming, beach ball-kicking closer called "Blink." While that 12-minute break in the middle suggests that an ambient album from the German duo would be quite desirable, Mirage is about impetus, hooks that won't quit, and slick synth constructions. Justice, Kavinsky, Moroder, and even John Carpenter fans should give it a go. ~ David Jeffries
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