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Unlimited: The Fluid Soundbox
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  • The Fluid Soundbox, the second full-length album by Ernest Maeschi and Karen Diblitz, is chock-full of '50s and '60s-inspired instrumentals, albeit done with late-'90s flair and flourish. According to their original label, "delving into the backgrounds and personal lives of the intensely private Maeschi and Diblitz was difficult, and to be honest, their lifestyles make them sound like international jet-setters." The bio goes on to say that "Karen Diblitz works for the European Formula One racing tour and travels the world while Ernest Maeschi seems to be unemployed but is able to purchase expensive musical instruments for his recording studio and travel the world at whim." Regardless of whether any of this is rooted in fact or not, this duo -- hailing from Zurich, Switzerland -- is obviously talented, and skilled at lovingly (re)creating music that, at one time, might have found its way onto the soundtracks for a wide variety of mod '60s films, grindcore and exotic Italian exploitation flicks (like Jess Franco's Vampyros Lesbos: Sexadelic Dance Party soundtrack), espionage capers, or whimsical inner-movie travelogues of one kind of another. The 14 instrumentals vary from harder surf-alicious themes, sci-fi and space themes, mod go-go themes, and James Bond/spy themes, all the way down the proverbial ladder to the "softer" side, including exotica, lounge themes, and boogie-licious acid jazz (the original '70s acid jazz, not the stuff from the '90s). Here and there, amid the swelling organ riffs and twangy electric guitar effluvia, are signs that these two are making exactly the kind of music they want. Only one complaint: The sound level on this CD is mixed so incredibly loud that you'll be unable to play the CD on "shuffle" or pull tracks from it for a mixed CD, should that be your intention. The Fluid Soundbox was originally issued in 1998 by the Orange County-based Dr. Dream's specialty Mai Tai label, but re-released in 2001 by Dionysus Records. ~ Bryan Thomas
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