The fourth full-length album from Chris Randall's Micronaut project, Europa is a brooding and introspective piece of melodic electronica. Quite a departure from the normal Micronaut sound of big-beat and house, Europa is dark and cinematic, with twisting synth lines and disjointed drum-beats vying for attention amid a thick bed of drones and found sound.
Europa features Chris Randall and Miguel Turnazas, and also adds Wade Alin (Christ Analogue, Atomica, Milkfish) to the mix with his unique programming skills. Mike Fisher (Machines of Loving Grace, Amish Rake Fight) makes an appearance with his masterful cello playing. A perfect soundtrack for a dark day, Europa is Micronaut's finest album to date.
Normally a Micronaut album is wrought with big-beat house but Europa is its distant dark cousin. Grouped well with the likes of dark ambient but with more of a Aphex Twin or Autechre style with its disjointed bleeps and beats, Europa is one of those albums that you come across and can't put down…ever. The cello you hear is courtesy of Mike Fisher of Machines of Loving Grace and Amish Rake Fight fame. Chris Randall's fame might have come at the helm of his electro-industrial outfit Sister Machine Gun (one of my personal faves) but he continues to impress alongside Miguel Turnazas with his Micronaut project. Stoked isn't even close to cutting it. - J-Sin
This is the 4th album of the Chicago-based Micronaut. Their work is an eclectic piece of electronics, which really covers different styles. The production of this album is really outstanding and that's definitely an element you'll easily perceive. Starting in a rather ambient way with remarkable cuts like "For once always" and "Mister Tronic," they than experience with some vague dub influences leaded by bombastic rhythms on "Normalized" to mix dark ambient moods with scratches on the more experimental sounding "Invention 1/Microprocessor" to the enigmatic "Darkness." There's some contradiction in style running through this last piece for the mix of deep electronic bass sounds and the use of a cello, but the alchemy of this band makes everything possible! The 2nd part of the album becomes really interesting for exploring more danceable fields. They now come pretty close to the style of Chemical Brothers without delivering a copy of this great band. There's a terrific mix between dance vibes and psychedelic influences reinforced by guitar riffs. We here get some amazing pieces like "Perdition" and the "DJ Blitz 4/4 remix" of the same song, but also "Failsafe," "Calculate" and "Institutional." By the exception of a few vocals, the entire album remains instrumental, but never stops to fascinate the open-minded listener I am! - Cedric
...Europa is awash with a plethora of styles, an amalgamation of sound that builds from drum and bass, classical overture, moody electronica, dark ambience, and funky organic melodies into, well, a construct that has all sorts of echoes to the past while clearly all a-glitter with futurism... - Mark Teppo