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Music Video Distributors presents
X-Mix Fast: Forward & Rewind (1999)

Review By: Dan Lopez  
Published: April 26, 2002

Director: Various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (surreal animation, no objectionable content)
Run Time: 00h:50m:22s
Release Date: August 17, 1999
Genre: music

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ A-C+B D

DVD Review

The X-Mix series has, for the past few years, been the successor to the 3LUX series of abstract animated shorts set to upbeat, electronic music. To be honest, I don't know what prompted the name change, but the series from Stud!o K7 remains basically the same. Perhaps the most significant and obvious change from the original 3LUX trilogy is the state of computer graphics. With amazingly powerful, versatile rendering and design software available to more and more segments of the population, the quality of these shorts has changed. Not so much that they are better, but certainly more advanced. The end result is some impressive graphical work that, while still very much abstract, can create deeper worlds, so-to-speak, and make shorts with more of a linear idea.

The tracklist on this disc includes (artist/song)
1. Fretless AZM/Bumbuphone
2. The Innocent/Theme From The Innocent
3. Flare/NP 2.1
4. Frank de Wulf/Drums In A Grip
5. Jedi Knights/Dance Of The Naughty Knights
6. Coldcut/Atomic Moog 2000
7. Backfunk 3000/Buckfunk
8. Ken Ishii/Circular Motion
9. Ken Ishii/Echo Exit
10. Locus/No One In The World
11. Squarepusher/The Squarepusher Theme
12. Silent Poets/Mass

X-Mix: Fast Forward & Rewind is based around a music compilation by Japanese DJ and composer Ken Ishii. It would appear that Ishii made a 12-track mix of music, then it was handed off to animation studios who then created little shorts to go along with the music. The end result is an amazingly good compilation of some extremely well made graphical showcases. Unlike past similar works (like 3LUX), Fast Forward is less "moving paintings", and based more around physical ideas in the shorts. For example, track 3, NP 2.1, features a video based around strange, aquatic creatures and plants moving around to the beat of the music. Things are still surreal and plot-less, but more viewable; something you can sit down and watch.

My favorite works on the disc were the NP 2.1 video, No One In The World, and Squarepusher Theme, but that's not to belittle the rest of the work, which is very entertaining. The only video I thought was below average was the Dance Of The Naughty Knights piece, which was simply footage of a CG band. A cute idea, but nothing much happens other than the camera panning around the stage. Musically, the whole disc was very good in my opinion, and I rarely like ALL the tracks on these types of compilations. Aphex Twin fans will undoubtedly like the Squarepusher track, which sounds, strangely enough, almost exactly like a typical Aphex Twin track. Overall, the excellent music and entertaining videos make this a superb computer graphics disc. Although the X-Mix series is typically geared towards techno/rave club fans, anyone who likes things like Mind's Eye should enjoy what's offered here as a nice, diverse taste of imagery and sound.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The image quality tends to vary, although the source appears to be overwhelmingly analog, as evidenced by its slightly low resolution, minor color bleeds on sharp edges, and scanline appearances in a few places. Some of the videos suffer quite a bit from this and also have rather heavy compression artifacts to boot. Some videos, though, are free of any significant issues. Overall, the image could have been improved, for its flaws, it's not too distracting, just not as good as potentially possible.

Image Transfer Grade: C+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English(Stereo)yes

Audio Transfer Review: The stereo mix is pretty good, and effectively represents the music well. At high volumes, you can get a good, immersive sound going, and it's easily CD quality, with no distortions, harshness, or bass problems

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The presentation is minimal, but adequate. There is only one menu from which any of the 12 tracks can be separately selected. This disc is non-region encoded.

Extras Grade: D


Final Comments

X-Mix: Fast Forward and Rewind is a must-own for any techno/computer graphics fan. It's a very enjoyable, well mixed compilation that feels very complete on its own rather than as just an element of an ongoing series of discs.


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