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Album Reviews

NZCA Lines Infinite Summer

NZCA Lines ‘Infinite Summer’ – Album Review

Memphis Industries (2016)

Inspired by the works of Arthur C. Clarke, J.G. Ballard and Philip K. Dick, Infinite Summer sees Michael Lovett’s NZCA Lines “marry sci-fi futurism to personal intimacies” to produce what must surely be one of the funkiest apocalyptic concept albums of all time. Indeed, also featuring former Ash guitarist Charlotte Hatherley and drummer Sarah Jones (Hot Chip, New Young Pony Club), the follow-up to 2012’s self-titled debut may center on […]


tricky skilled mechanics

Tricky ‘Skilled Mechanics’ – Album Review

False Idols (2016)

Named after a term used for trained assassins he heard in a documentary on espionage, Skilled Mechanics sees trip-hop trailblazer Tricky assemble his own killer team for the most collaborative studio effort of his lengthy career. Some of those on board are no stranger to the world of Adrian Thaws, including regular vocalist Francesca Belmonte who lends her sultry tones to the eerie synth-balladry of “We Begin,” drummer Luke Harris […]


Steve Angelo Wild Youth

Steve Angello ‘Wild Youth’ – Album Review

SIZE Records (2016)

Judging by all the pre-release talk of shunning EDM, steering dance music back into a proper direction and making a piece of art, you’d expect Steve Angello’s second solo LP, Wild Youth, to be something of a game-changer. So it’s slightly baffling to hear that the Stockholm DJ has delivered the kind of unadventurous, generic and largely forgettable record he appears to be rallying against. Indeed, featuring guest appearances from […]


Sophie PRODUCT

Sophie ‘PRODUCT’ – Album Review

Numbers (2015)

The breakout star of the PC Music label that has divided the dance music scene its inception back in 2013, producer Samuel Long, aka Sophie, now becomes the first to release an official artist album with PRODUCT. Available to buy in various bizarre formats—including a puffed jacket, a pair of platform shoes and most strikingly a sex toy—and with six of its eight tracks already released as singles, it’s not […]


arca mutant

Arca ‘Mutant’ – Album Review

Mute (2015)

Alongside the likes of Gessafelstein and Hudson Mohawke, Venezuelan producer Arca is one of several underground heroes who found themselves thrust into the spotlight following their contributions to Kanye West’s opus Yeezus back in 2013. However, the 25-year-old’s second studio effort, Mutant, indicates once again that he has no inclination to move any further towards the mainstream. Indeed, as with last year’s equally punishing Xen, the artist formerly known as […]


oneohtrix garden of delete

Oneohtrix Point Never ‘Garden of Delete’ – Album Review

Warp (2015)

Brooklyn experimentalist Daniel Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix Point Never, appears to have spent just as much time teasing information about his second album for the Warp label, Garden of Delete, as he did making it. A cryptic PDF file, a blog interview with an alien named Ezra and a website dedicated to a fictional genre called “hypergrunge” are just some of the bizarre tactics that have been used to promote the […]


floating points elaenia

Floating Points ‘Elaenia’ – Album Review

Luaka Bop (2015)

Nicknamed the techno Einstein, neuroscience graduate-turned-DJ Sam Shepherd, aka Floating Points, has taken almost as long to produce his debut album, Elaenia, as the legendary physicist did the theory of relativity. Indeed, it’s been seven years and over a dozen E.P.s and singles since the Londoner first began to stake his claim as one of ambient electronica’s most intriguing young composers, meaning that this eight-track collection arrives with a certain […]


grimes art angels

Grimes ‘Art Angels’ – Album Review

4AD (2015)

Given that she took on the roles of multi-instrumentalist and producer to gain full creative control, you would probably have expected electro-pop pixie-girl Grimes to have out-weirded herself for her fourth studio effort, Art Angels. And yet, despite recent talk of being impossible to pigeonhole, the 27-year-old has largely dialed down the hyperactivity that made 2012’s Visions one of the most wonderfully warped pop records of the decade. Sure, Art […]


Jamie Woon Making Time

Jamie Woon ‘Making Time’ – Album Review

PMR (2015)

As the missing link between James Blake and Justin Timberlake, Londoner Jamie Woon inevitably became one of the post-dubstep scene’s breakout stars. But with his second album, Making Time, arriving four years after his first, the 32-year-old now has to reassert his place in the pecking order of after-hours singer-songwriters. It isn’t immediately clear why the record took so long, with producer Lexx (Wild Beasts, Gwilym Gold) largely stripping back […]


armin van buuren embrace

Armin van Buuren ‘Embrace’ – Album Review

Armada (2015)

After years of trying, superstar DJ Armin van Buuren finally scored that elusive mainstream hit with 2013’s Grammy-nominated “This Is What It Feels Like.” It’s little surprise, therefore, that the majority of his sixth studio effort, Embrace, sticks rigidly to his belatedly winning formula. Indeed, “Heading Up High,” “Freefall” and “Indestructible” are just a handful of the songs that attempt to replicate the over-emotive male vocal delivery, hands-in-the-air chorus and […]


Jean_Michel_Jarre electronica1

Jean Michel Jarre ‘Electronica 1: The Time Machine’ – Album Review

Following in the footsteps of Giorgio Moroder’s star-studded comeback, fellow electro wizard Jean Michel Jarre has also assembled an impressive line-up for his first new studio effort in eight years, Electronica 1: The Time Machine. But whereas Moroder’s unexpected return largely relied upon today’s synth-pop sirens, Jarre’s features a far more eclectic list of guest artists that have inspired him over the past four decades, ranging from legendary horror film […]


avicii stories

Avicii ‘Stories’ – Album Review

Island (2015)

Third only to Calvin Harris and Tiësto as the world’s richest DJ, few have done more for the EDM cause than baby-faced Swede Tim Bergling, aka Avicii. But his second studio effort, Stories, suggests the 26-year-old is getting ready to leave the world of epic drops behind. The follow-up to 2013’s hit-packed #TRUE is still very much a floor-filling affair with ventures into everything from tropical house (“Gonna Love Ya”) […]


chvrches every open eye

CHVRCHES ‘Every Open Eye’ – Album Review

Universal (2015)

Having recently bemoaned the fact that “too many bands end up throwing away the thing people liked about them in the first place,” it should come as little shock that the second album from Scottish electro-pop trio CHVRCHES, Every Open Eye, doesn’t exactly deviate wildly from their first. Indeed, the 80s-inspired wave of celestial synths and booming echo-laden beats that defined 2013’s The Bones of What You Believe is still […]


disclosure caracal

Disclosure ‘Caracal’ – Album Review

Island (2015)

After their debut almost singlehandedly changed the landscape of commercial dance music, in-demand siblings Disclosure now face the difficult challenge of avoiding the dreaded sophomore slump with Caracal. Thankfully for the Lawrence brothers, the follow-up to 2013’s Grammy-nominated Settle is unlikely to derail their career, but by sticking rigidly to their well-worn formula, it’s also just as unlikely to elevate it. Indeed, like its predecessor, which flirted with two-step garage, […]


Nils Frahm Late Night Tales

Nils Frahm ‘Late Night Tales’ – Album Review

Late Night Tales (2015)

Having already released a surprise free album to celebrate the inaugural Piano Day and provided the soundtrack to one-take film Victoria this year, German classical-electronic composer Nils Frahm continues his prolific streak by becoming the latest contributor to the long-running Late Night Tales. Now in its 14th year, the series which invites artists to showcase their own personal pet sounds isn’t a stranger to Frahm’s music, with both Mercury Prize […]


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