Ahead of his debut album dropping on Monkeytown, Alex Banks gives the world a sneak peek at the sound he has been conjuring up by way of this single. The title track features the haunting vocal tones of Elizabeth Bernholz, whose siren song peals out over a frenetic mash of electronic beat mangling that calls to mind earlier strains of Clark. "Phosphorus" also gets busy in the edit, as infinitesimal sonic details bounce off of each other with the swagger of 2-step and some emotive synth work. Phon O reworks "All You Could Do" with a taut, stepping techno rhythm and a hopeful synth lilt, while Banks himself offers up an alternative version that moves in a slower, more spacious manner compared to the original.
Alex Banks has endured something of a stop-start career, first hitting record shelves in 2007 under the Munk 777 alias before finally returning - largely as a renowned DJ and remixer - a couple of years back. Here the Brighton producer finally fulfils his early promise with an excellent debut album for Modeselektor's Monkeytown Records. Illuminate sits somewhere between grandiose post-dubstep, sinewy string-laden deep house, jazz-flecked techno, murky glitch-hop and folksy electronica, with grandiose dancefloor moments (the gloriously rushing "Inititate") nestling side by side with woozier, more introspective pieces (the Bonobo-goes-electronic jazz of "Lights"). Immaculately produced and impressively atmospheric throughout, it's the sort of debut album that should propel Banks towards the upper echelons of electronic music.
Veteran Berlin outfit Modeselektor take their "selektion" very seriously indeed. Perhaps this is why each instalment of Modeselektion, their painstakingly curated compilation series, takes so long to arrive. Here we finally have another sampler from part three. Highlights of these four tracks include the blissful synth fest of Alex Banks' "Be The One", the quirky, live electro-pop of Heinrik Schwarz's "We Are Bankrupt" and the off-kilter, acidic soulful hip-hop of "Jungle Love". Looks like the full-length album will be worth the wait.
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