- in a good way.
Somewhere I have a copy of Black Gold
, play it infrequently and don't have it on the dumbphone when I'm travelling or anything, but took a chance on this for the usual reasons - new stuff from an interesting performer, played the old stuff to death, and so on.
If you listen to this with studio monitor headphones you might be in for a treat, for this is music that tries hard to be different and succeeds.
This is all about the production, initially seeming to relegate the songs back into the mix and threatening to almost suffocate them, and then revealing themselves more on repeated listening once you adjust to the style some more and refocus on the reason you came by this record in the first place..
It's no 3 Eps though, mostly a synthtastic cross between Kraftwerk, Luke Slater's Alright On Top
and the brit synth bands of yesteryear like the Human League, Depeche Mode etc mixed with everything the producer could throw at it - house, 2-step, trancey ambient dub, acidey techno bits, with mostly chanted deadpan lyrics.
For me this'll probably be a bit of a grower, there's definitely enough going on to hold the interest for a week or two yet, but it does have to compete with Boys Outside
and its dub twin, Ghosts, all bought together, for airtime.
But for tracks 4 & 7, this would be heading for a 4/5 rating if it stays long enough on my player - as it is, these two really don't stand up to the tracks around them and feel like filler - still a 10 or 11 song album without them though.
This reviewer can't decide if steve is camping it up more than necessary, or not enough, but I doubt you'll hear another quite like it this year.
Three point 8 stars?