[20 Minutes Into The Future sleeve]"20 Minutes Into The Future" (EP, 1999)

Gun Music

Takshaka is a two-piece project featuring Jonathan Sharp of Biotek, New Mind, Hexedene fame and graphic designer Josh Finney. This half-hour six-track EP is a diverting trip into sound manipulation. Snippets of noise, heavily treated samples, beeps and squeaks compressed so thin it's amazing they escape into the audible range of the human ear. Musical food as much for the intellect as for pleasure.

Interested, it seems, in creating an atmosphere, Takshaka are not too concerned whether a track has any clear structure, direction or points of reference. And that has to be a good thing. Taking a title from the intro to the television series Max Headroom is an ideal starting point for any collection of music, but I'd say the songs contained in 20 Minutes Into The Future are further ahead than that. This sounds like it has been transmitted from some distant future to the machines of Takshaka, and in extracting the sounds, Takshaka mangled the original compositions and the results have been presented to us on this EP.

Inphogeist has trace elements of haujobb and Blade Runner - a gradual, ambient build up to begin the EP. MacArthur B.A.R.T is one of the more 'conventional' entries with a looping series of synths and samples - my choice cut of the six. Tri-Face with its firecracker percussion and staccato synth pads is undoubtedly challenging but it works well. Digital Chaos Junkie v.2 and Zerolight (Railgun remix) both display inspiration and originality but don't quite convince like the first three tracks. The final Thoughts Rebroadcast (Evanscene remix) starts off sounding like incidental music to one of the Alien films but the shimmering synths are eventually joined by distorted percussion. If you're looking for something pushing the envelope a little then you could do a lot worse than check out 20 Minutes Into The Future. "All media are the extensions of some human faculty" says Marshal McLuhan on the sleeve notes. The sounds contained on this compact disc then should provide some insight into the minds of Jonathan Sharp and Josh Finney - inspirational and not unpleasant places it would seem. 7/10

Rob Dyer