This is how Montreal DJ Misstress Barbara closes her second compilation disc, an album as contradictory as it is stunning. Relentless Beats Volume 2 manages to be one of the most frenetic and abrasive albums imaginable, but it also seems extraordinarily personal, even tender.
It feels like a clue that Misstress Barbara cut her musical teeth as a hard-rock drummer. All of the found sounds -- from eerie keyboard progressions to salsa piano figures to cowbells to calliopes to preachers preaching and dancers singing in the street -- play rhythmic roles. It's as if a drummer could hit a different drumhead and produce any musical phrase or figure in the universe, certainly the appeal that must have led to Misstress Barbara's laying down her sticks eight years ago. The result is inhumanly fast rhythm with an infinite sense of possibility, including the chance to touch everything in the universe and find one's way back to the simplest human desires.