As a fan of the Balance series, I bought this on the strength of some very positive reviews. I've also heard Lee Burridge play live a few times, hence my expectations for Balance 012 were high. Alas, there is a thin line between thought provoking, minimalistic techno brilliance and annoying, repetitive bleeps, bloops and squelchy twisted baseline effects.
I'm not going to write a long winded review here as I'm not very good at describing music despite my many years of listening experience. Suffice to say that CD1 is fantastic - track 1 may be uninspiring, but after that, we are treated to an interesting, varied an intelligent journey that you can blast through your sub-woofer or chill out to while you work. Highlights for me include Bettman's 'Dawning', H.O.S.H's 'Steppenwolf' and Jose Padilla's 'Adios Ayer'....a sensational end to the mix.
Unfortunately, neither CD2 or CD3 come anywhere near repeating this brilliance. CD2 is deep and pleasant for about 4 tracks before degrading into Music for Droids, while CD3 is merely hit and miss with excellent tracks like Autotune's 'Dirty' and Gabriel Ananda's 'Trommelstunde' separated by yet more bleepy, repetitive techno. Admittedly, CD3 is the darkest, with a much harder edge - played loud on a good system, I imagine it would be very effective, though one for hardened techno fans only I feel.
I have a great appreciation for eclectic and intelligent electronica...for this reason, I would still recommend this CD to fans of minimal, techno and downtempo. CD1 is probably worth the investment - listen to the track previews for the other discs before parting with your hard earned cash though!