The steady rise of Joe Cowton has been such that Utility, his long-awaited debut album, is arguably one of the most hotly anticipated techno sets of 2016. Happily, it's a fine set, brilliantly showcasing his instinctive way with booming, stripped-back drum patterns, sparse textures, and alien electronics. While there are forays into more house leaning pastures - see the dreamy, metallic shuffle of "Scido" - and cascading ambience ("Some Cats" and "A Bluish Shadow"), it's naturally the album's more bombastic, club-ready stompers that really stand out. These include two subtle reinventions of early British bleep techno ("Balance" and "Shots Fired") that aptly showcase the London-based producer's Northern roots.
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