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Ahead Of Its Time
on 11 September 2002
I bought this album when it was first released (Late Autumn 1991) and i agree with the other reviewer here that, yes, in comparision to N.O.W's later albums this album is perhaps a little dated and more techno-orientated than their more recent albums. What we shoould bear in mind is that NOW started life as a "Bleep" (an early variation of techno) act on Warp records along with LFO and early singles ("Dextrous" and "Aftermath") reflected this then fashionable sound.
This album was at the time considered quite cutting-edge, featuring those bleep tracks but also abstract beats, hip hop and breakbeat funk, and early jungle influences. Back then this kind of eclectism was unheard of (save for perhaps the "Shut Up & Dance" stable) The albums opening track - "Nights Interlude" was certainly a taster of things to come, and its influence is still felt to this very day (sweeping cinematic strings,loping basslines with lazy breakbeats - 1001 Ibiza chillout sheep are still imitating this sound as i type)
This showcased NOW as an act with creativity and longevity - which they have obviously proved.
I agree with the other reviewer here that this album doesnt sit well with the rest of NOW's repertoire, but it shouldnt be dismissed because of this. What one should consider is that there was about 4 years between this album and the 2nd (Smokers Delight) - technology and tastes had changed enornmously in that time too.
In short - its no timeless classic, but its certainly a blueprint for future variations of dance music.