Review: Having given keen listeners a healthy preview in his Fabric live mix last year, the artist formerly known as Stopmakingme delivers his full-length album for Erol Alkan's Phantasy Sound. It's a limber brew that channels a strong dose of analogue trickery through smart and snappy beat constructions, all bubbling, aquatic synths and troubled delays propelled by unfussy drum patterns so that the melodies can do the talking. Primarily this is a dancefloor album, moving from peppy breakbeat driven numbers to gently bumping house, but always the playful, ineffably warm synth work sets the tone, from "Naive Response"s robotic charm to "Drone Logic"s soaring grind. It's an album brimming in confidence and nailed with precision, and it's packed full of incredibly usable floor rockers to boot.
Time Marked Its Irregular Pulse In Her Eyes (2:18)
Review: One of the standout cuts from Daniel Avery's superb Song For Alpha album, "Diminuendo", gets a deserved single release. The title track - an alien-sounding chunk of psychedelic darkroom techno made in collaboration with recent Tresor signing Manni Dee - kicks off the EP, before Avery serves up a trio of previously unheard workouts. The first of these, "Hyper Detail", is a weighty chunk of creepy and intense techno propelled forwards by thunderous beats and wickedly wild TB-303 acid lines, while B-side opener "Light of Falling Rain" is an equally trippy slab of wonky electro/modular techno fusion. Closer "Time Marked Its Irregular Pulse In Her Eyes", meanwhile, is the kind of twisted ambient - all barely decipherable electronic speech and spacey noises - that sounds like it was beamed down from another universe.
Review: While undoubtedly one of dance music's greatest party-starters, Daniel Avery has never been a dance music purist. Over the years, there have been various quirky, downtempo-minded side projects and DJ mixes that show the impressive breadth of his musical knowledge. It's for this reason we're not that surprised to find that Song For Alpha, his first album since 2013, combines deeper and more trippy takes on his club-ready sound (home listening fodder, despite the drums) with escapist, early morning cuts inspired by ambient greats (Brian Eno, John Hassell etc.) and the after-hours electronica of Warp's pioneering Artificial Intelligence series. By mixing things up in this way, Avery has delivered what could well be his strongest body of work to date.