By Henrik Schwarz
Dance music. Generally, in present times there are two core types. First we have the 'chart version' of the genre, i.e. music that fourteen year old chavettes like to get pregnant to. Think DJ Sammy. This is also applicable for the 'working culture' among us, those hardy young souls who labour all week at Burger King and flood out in their masses to Toffs on a Friday, to pop pills and annihilate their fellow members of the general public (goths, gays etc) with beatings that Ricky Hatton would be proud of; again DJ Sammy, but with added Bonkers re-mix.
Secondly, we have the type that makes you thankful that not all dance music represents a night out in Hull. This is intelligent and original dance music, sometimes minimalist. The likes of Soulwax and Air among many others are conveyors of this particular type. Another variation is widely known as 'chillout'.
Henrik Schwarz falls into category two. 'Imagination Limitation' is his latest EP, and it sounds like something made from the Playstation game 'Music'. Part A is an excruciating six minutes long, made all the more so by the fact that in these 360 seconds, the music doesn't actually go anywhere. Sultry piano tones are littered by background clatter that slowly builds up as more techno wizardry enters the fray. Unfortunately, in trying to sound poles apart from his peers, he doesn't manage to escape the snag that an awful lot of dance music is littered by - repetitiveness.
Part B is much shorter at two and a half minutes. Similar piano tones are backed up by a backing beat that makes for an interesting mix. Despite the simplicity, it doesn't reach the predictability levels of part A, thus making itself the highlight of the EP.
Mix 3 is frankly baffling, beginning with the sound of a harp and random littered piano bashing, reminiscent of Morrissey's escapades on The Smiths' 'Death Of A Disco Dancer'. Again, it's littered with so many different sounds that cry out; "hey dude, check out all my gadgets!" As a result, it is so hard to follow or enjoy due to its neglect to structure.
Ironically, it leaves you gagging to reclaim your teenage years of Bombfunk MC's, ATB and Sash abuse and indeed, as the title reads; 'Imagination Limitation'. It also plays into the hands of traditionalists, who believe the overuse of technology merely leaves the music as a largely neglected afterthought.