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An electronic masterpiece
on 17 May 2012
There's few acts around in dance/ electronica that have evolved like SMD. This is simply a stunning listen start to finish. It has structure. Each track has a place and order. Production is top notch, clean and precise, giving the whole affair a feeling of immense quality in an age of ropey Beatport one-hit wonders.
SMD's ability to compile near-perfect sets have meant that tracks like 'Put Your Hands Together' have purpose and intent on this album, instead of, as most might rush to assume, is simply a floor filler. 'Interference' has a simple synth riff and plodding feel from the start - all familiar ingredients, yet 6 and a half minutes later you are left feeling like you've just been taken on a tour of the universe. The closing wall of sound on 'Pareidolia' has no right to be as huge and deep, and feels like an assault from a mad, angry orchestra.
Drum patterns are dense and complex, yet plenty of space and minimalism. Sub bass notes are distinctive in the mix, and the synths lush, with and edgy feel that gives you a warmth from a different angle than the usual electronica fare. The overall tempo is relaxed but driving, creating an undercurrent to the album that carries you through from start to finish nicely.
I might be biased here. Only last month I saw them live at the Village Underground Mixmag launch party in London, and I suspect sonic trickery and other methods have burnt these tracks into my neurons. But the great thing is, either way, this is an album you feel pleased to own, and when you choose to play it, you'll give it respect, time and attention. If anything from that perspective, it feels a bit short, but in an age where I all to often skip around searching for who-knows-what, this is the greatest compliment of all. Enjoy.