On Luxury Problems, Mancunian producer Andy Stott builds on the knackered house and techno sound showcased in last year's brace of brilliance, Passed Me By and We Stay Together. The album will contain eight tracks recorded in the last 12 months, with five of the songs featuring vocals from his old piano teacher who Stott hadn't seen since he was a teenager in 1996, with the opening track "Numb" seeing her looped and layered vocals exuding a cinematic quality. The paranoid, dense, slow-moving qualities that Stott has made his signature remain, but they've been toyed with and manipulated, and the vocal elements feel like a calculated gamble - one that has truly paid off. Highly recommended.
British dub-techno producer Andy Stott returns to the production fold with this excellent doublepack entitled Passed Me By. Although strictly a double EP rather than an album, there's enough here to fill the void left since the last Stott long player, Merciless. Stott opens with the disturbed paranoia of "Signature" and the brilliant "New Ground", which utilises a drowned-out vocal snippet that immediately brings to mind the work of Actress. The grumbling dub of "North To South" contrasts neatly with "Intermittent", in which rasping drum hits form the rhythmic pulse, allowing another ethereal vocal to float over the top. The second half of the release takes on an even darker hue; with the raw drum hits of "Dark Details", terrifying drone of "Execution" and ghostly atmospherics of the title track rounding off this most stunning release.
Andy Stott follows up the incredible reinvention that was Passed Me By with another EP of dark, slowed down techno that takes his style further down his bleak rabbithole, concentrating on the micro level detail within its expansive scale. Opening with the beatless "Submission", a Fennesz style wash of recorded waves subjected to crushing compression, he moves into the 100bpm territory of "Posers" which concentrates on a roughly treated, barely there vocal sample, and "Bad Wires", which slowly disorientates the listener with its sludgy bass loop and fizzing atmosphere. Meanwhile "We Stay Together" opts for a cleaner atmosphere with demonic undertones, whilst "Cherry Eye" offers the faintest sceptre of melody in a cavernous backdrop. Finally "Cracked" hypnotises with its metallic textures and undercurrent of acid which gurgles beneath. For anyone who considers themselves even remotely adventurous in their techno tastes, We Stay Together is essential.
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