by Joshua Brown
If I were in the CIA, conducting one of those experiments in psychedelic mind control, I’d give my subject a hefty dose of LSD-25, then lock him in a chamber where the only sensory input is Emmanuel Top‘s Asteroid at Earth- smashing volume. He’d be saying “blessed be” and “thank you sir, may I have another” in no time. Top’s genuinely frightening techno builds tension like a Hitchcock film; slowly and intricately. The song “Asteroid” takes the listener on the path of a massive ball of stardust hurtling toward a planet. Each moment adds intensity to the previous moment, every passing thought a reminder of the imminent collision. Though electronic music catches flak from its critics for being overly repetitive, Emmanuel Top can afford to make his music even more repetitive than his peers, because he is selective in his musical schemes. To plagiarize my own metaphor from a previous (forgotten?) issue of Lollipop, soldiers marching in the correct frequency can bring a bridge crashing to the water below. Top’s tunes have a similar power. An excellent parallel is Throbbing Gristle, whose fierce, minimalist rhythms made their audience jump higher with each beat, exhibiting increasingly frenzied behavior without the song itself having changed much at all.