While the notion 'techno for minors' might seem suspect, 'Life Beginnings' is not all late-night hedonism. The abrasive opener 'La Muerte', with its cumbersome hip-hop rhythms stumbling over a looped obscene vocal, is deceptive, as are the click beats and lazy skip of 'Harmony', a subtlety soon crushed by wailing house-diva histrionics. The final 'Daddaughter' spins lush circles of keyboard tones and bubbling arpeggios into a motorik psychedelic mobile, like Stereolab making 'Soothing Sounds for Babies', until disparate rock drums barge in, causing tantrums.
The rest all follow the same pattern: percussive, minimal beginnings opening into grand, overblown, trance-hued gushing. Even the most inauspicious start ends up bloated: tiny glitches are reverbed into caverns in 'Girl in Water', the hi-hats becoming hissing vipers. 'French Pop' follows a similar trajectory to Nazca's 'Svell', stealing his woodblocks but sending his skewed tone patterns to kindergarten. The same fate befalls 'Real Fusion', where a bleak low-end drone and portentous pads are sweetened with twinkling music box chimes, and 'The Burglar', where the arpeggios pile on until we're drowning in a blur of sparkles and glitter.
'Life Beginnings' is therefore frustrating: Matzak sets up some thrilling beginnings, where everything seems certain to evolve into the tough, dizzying banging of a Eulberg set, only for them to become clogged with sugary syrup. I can't speak for younger listeners, but I'm sure they'd non-plussed with trance creeping into their bedtime stories.