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8 March, 2006@12:00 am

   If Mr. Poirier’s Beats As Politics was a wallaby, then Breakupdown is a kangaroo.  Same crazy family, only with 40% more bounce.  The French Canadian wunderkind delivers with his fifth album (but probably only the second you’ve ever seen in the States).  Poirier has been busy making the rounds with style-saavy, big-city types who’ve been eating up low-end club tunes for the last year (cf. Spankrock, MIA, Hollertronix).   Poirier is no stranger to that rhythm.  A huge ragga fan, he was already tapped for a remix on Lady Sovereign’s Vertically Challenged EP.

   Breakupdown’s opening salvo “Don’t Smile, It’s Post-Modern” is exactly that gutter sound that drives scenesters bananas.  Poirier effortlessly ensnares fists-on-the-gym-locker percussion with a swirl of synth.  Whereas Beats still clung to Poirier’s ambient past, it appears that his second release on Chocolate Industries is gunning for an all-out sweatfest.

   But then something happens.  After his collaboration “Mic Diplomat” with DJ Collage, Poirier either tuckers out or tires of delivering thunder claps.   At its midpoint, Breakupdown revisits the same measured electronic tones found on the rest of the Chocolate catalog. “Refuse to Lose” drifts stealthy atop rewired violins and ominous, creeping industrial leftovers while “Travelling” rolls sleepily along the bevy of plucked bass fiddles and a fuzzy-framed drum track.  It’s as if Poirier is trying to make peace with his downbeat history, whispering to her sweetly that he hasn’t abandoned the bip for the boom.  Whether Poirier’s trying to tear the club up or put his brood to bed, Breakupdown adds another jewel to Chocolate Industries’ collection.

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