Albums

454911 albums sorted by Most acclaimed and filtered by Electro
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Electro - Released May 17, 2013 | Columbia

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 5 étoiles Rock and Folk - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
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Dance - Released January 1, 2011 | Polydor Records

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music - Sélection Les Inrocks - 3 étoiles Technikart - Sélection du Mercury Prize
During 2009 and 2010, James Blake issued a clutch of abstract dubstep singles on Hemlock, Hessle Audio, and R&S. Each release increased anticipation for the producer’s next move as he continually shuffled the deck on his bristly, off-center, and generally groove-less tracks, some of which incorporated vocals -- he sampled Kelis and Aaliyah on “CMYK,” for instance -- or his own voice, heavily processed. The Klavierwerke EP, the last in the series, was the most stripped down of the bunch. The day after it was released, Blake uploaded a video for his dramatic cover version of Feist’s “Limit to Your Love,” which indicated that the focus on his voice and sparse backing would continue. Consisting of Blake's pensive vocal, a simple but affecting piano, and recurring beat weighed down by sub-bass, it’s one of the most straightforward tracks on Blake’s brief debut album. The following “Give Me My Month” deviates most from Blake’s vinyl output; it’s a wistful piano-and-voice ballad that has far more in common with Procol Harum than any given contemporary linked to Blake. The rest of the tracks are more like exercises in sound manipulation and reduction than songs. The approach is no fault, but Blake pares it down to such an extent that the material occasionally sounds not just tentative but feeble, fatigued, even, as on “I Never Learnt to Share,” where one creaky line is repeated and treated throughout, placed over swelling synthesizer frequencies and a stamping beat. “The Wilhelm Scream,” one of the album’s highlights, is far more effective, a ballad with a pulse that increases in intensity with skillfully deployed reverb and surging waves of soft noise. ~ Andy Kellman
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Electro - Released October 22, 2012 | Warp Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music - Qobuzissime - Hi-Res Audio - Sélection JAZZ NEWS
Rewarding as it was for most lovers of 1983 and Los Angeles, Cosmogramma was so complex and knotted that Steven Ellison's next step could have gone beyond the challenging and into the self-parodic. On his fourth album, Ellison not only peels away layers from his sound but organizes his tracks into a gracefully flowing sequence. The producer once again draws from numerous instrumentalists and vocalists, from Brainfeeder associates Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner and Austin Peralta to the likes of Erykah Badu and Thom Yorke. Bruner has the most presence. His tremulous basslines are on nine of the album's 18 tracks, and his spaced-out, quasi-oracular vocals poke through on occasion, such as on an 80-second track that is titled after a natural psychedelic compound and references the title of Ellison's 2010 EP. True to Flying Lotus form, Bruner's voice, as well as those of everyone else, is made to sound phantasmal rather than spotlit. While much of the material on Ellison's previous three albums came across like brief and isolated ideas with an impact unaffected by the shuffle function, the shorter pieces here act more like true connectors or proper set-ups/interludes. The 12 minutes from "See Thru to U" through "Only if You Wanna" make for the album's least divisible section. It begins with lithe and slightly unsettling pattering and closes with a futuristic, organic-synthetic jazz trio piece. Somewhere in the middle, there's "The Nightcaller," the closest the album gets to dancefloor funk like Cosmogramma's "Do the Astral Plane" -- that is, until the last minute, when the gliding/chugging beat stammers and switches to a delirious strut. For all the elegiac and turbulent moments, several tracks, including the majestically wistful "Getting There" and the cascading "Until the Colours Come," are gorgeously starry and even lullaby-like, laced with ear-perking flourishes. And then there's the alien critter voice on "Putty Boy Strut," and the bizarrely bleak and comical "Electric Candyman," featuring Yorke, which arouses some serious cognitive dissonance by provoking thoughts of Tony Todd and Beyoncé ("Say my name, say my name, say my name"). Ellison's trademarks -- skittering and rustling percussion atop slightly irregular drums that knock and thud, for instance -- factor almost as much as ever, but his slight adjustments and increased restraint make this his most accessible and creative release yet. ~ Andy Kellman
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Electro - Released April 11, 2011 | Because Music Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Sélection Les Inrocks - 4 étoiles Technikart - Sélection du Mercury Prize
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Electro - Released June 3, 2013 | Domino Recording Co

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music - Hi-Res Audio - Sélection du Mercury Prize
Between Insides and its follow-up Immunity, Jon Hopkins worked with King Creosote on the charming Diamond Mine, which set the Scottish singer/songwriter's ruminations to backdrops that were half rustic folk and half evocative washes of sound. Immunity isn't nearly as acoustic as that collaboration was, but its gently breezy feel lingers on several of these songs: "Breathe This Air" expands from a pounding house rhythm into a roomy piano meditation that recalls Max Richter as much as Diamond Mine, while the title track -- which happens to feature King Creosote's vocals -- closes the album on a whispery note. This feeling extends to the rest of the album in less obvious ways; Immunity is often a more blended, and more expansive-sounding work than Insides, particularly on songs like the Brian Eno-esque "Abandon Window" and "Form by Firelight," which offers a playful study in contrasts in the way it bunches into glitches and then unspools a peaceful piano melody. Some of Immunity's most impressive moments expand on the blend of rhythm and atmosphere Hopkins emphasized on Insides: "Collider" uses sighing vocals courtesy of Dark Horses' Lisa Elle as punctuation for almost imperceptibly shifting beats and a heavy bassline that helps the track build into a moody, elegant whole; meanwhile, the aptly named "Sun Harmonics" turns Elle's sighs into something angelic over the course of 12 serene minutes. Despite these highlights, the album still reflects how Hopkins' polished approach is something of a blessing and a curse. Immunity shows how he's grown, in his subtle, accomplished way, as a composer and producer, yet its tracks occasionally feel like the surroundings for a focal point that never arrives. Even if it doesn't always demand listeners' attention, Immunity is never less than thoughtfully crafted. ~ Heather Phares
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Electro - Released March 12, 2012 | 4AD

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music - Sélection Les Inrocks - Stereophile: Record To Die For
Though the term "witch house" is often thrown around too loosely (and often derisively), Grimes' wispy vocals and four-on-the-floor beats are probably the closest to what the style would sound like if its name were taken literally. On Visions, Claire Boucher develops the unmistakable sound she forged on Geidi Primes and Halfaxa, where her songs hovered in space one moment and hit the dancefloor in the next. The baby-ghost vocalizing that was so distinctive and divisive there is here as well, and Boucher sounds especially like an alien pop princess on sparkly tracks like "Infinite Love Without Fulfillment," "Genesis," and "Eight," where she's shadowed by robotic backing vocals. While Visions' songs are still largely free from obvious structures -- "Symphonia IX (My Wait Is U)" segues into a minor-key passage like a dream turning dark -- Boucher has learned the values of space and control, and gives more focus to her ethereal whimsy. While the glowing, sensuous "Skin" and "Know the Way" are fine examples of 2010s dream pop, unlike many of her contemporaries, Grimes' most danceable songs are her most unique, and allow her to draw on many different influences and sounds. "Be a Body" boasts a surprisingly funky bassline, and on "Circumambient," the song's shadowy R&B leanings are only heightened when Boucher busts out a super-soprano trill that would do Syreeta or Minnie Riperton proud. Similarly, her nods to '80s pop never feel too slavishly indebted to that decade, even when she uses stiff synth string stabs on "Oblivion" or frosty Casios on "Vowels = Space and Time," or lets "Colour of Moonlight (Antiochus)" ride on a beat that sounds borrowed from "When Doves Cry." Instead, these retro winks end up bringing out the darkly rhapsodic, kinetic heart of Grimes' music as much as the Asian-tinged melodies, harps, and operatic samples she uses elsewhere. Fresh and surprisingly accessible despite its quirks, Visions is bewitching. ~ Heather Phares
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Electro - Released June 25, 2012 | Parlophone France

Hi-Res Distinctions Victoire de la musique - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
Since the advent of acid jazz in the mid-'80s, the many electronic-jazz hybrids to come down the pipe have steadily grown more mature, closer to a balanced fusion that borrows the spontaneity and emphasis on group interaction of classic jazz while still emphasizing the groove and elastic sound of electronic music. For his second album, French producer Ludovic Navarre expanded the possibilities of his template for jazzy house by recruiting a sextet of musicians to solo over his earthy productions. The opener "Rose Rouge" is an immediate highlight, as an understated Marlena Shaw vocal sample ("I want you to get together/put your hands together one time"), trance-state piano lines, and a ride-on-the-rhythm drum program frames solos by trumpeter Pascal Ohse and baritone Claudio de Qeiroz. For "Montego Bay Spleen," Navarre pairs an angular guitar solo by Ernest Ranglin with a deep-groove dub track, complete with phased effects and echoey percussion. "Land Of..." moves from a Hammond- and horn-led soul-jazz stomp into Caribbean territory, marked by more hints of dub and the expressive Latin percussion of Carneiro. Occasionally, Navarre's programming (sampled or otherwise) grows a bit repetitious -- even for dance fans, to say nothing of the jazzbo crowd attracted by the album's Blue Note tag. Though it is just another step on the way to a perfect blend of jazz and electronic, Tourist is an excellent one. ~ John Bush
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Electro - Released April 7, 2014 | Olsen Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music - Qobuzissime - Hi-Res Audio
After a decade of releasing singles, remixes, and edits to large amounts of acclaim among in-the-know dance music fans, Norwegian whiz kid Todd Terje finally made an album of his own in 2014. It's Album Time is a pretty self-explanatory title, though it could have been called "I Love Many Different Styles of Dance Music and Will Proceed to Put My Warped Spin on All of Them." Well, that one would have been a mouthful, but it does sort of explain what was in Terje's head as he whips from one style to the next over the course of the record's 12 tracks. Stylish neo-disco is what he's best known for, and if any one style dominates, it's that. Bouncy dancefloor fillers like "Strandbar," "Inspector Norse," "Swing Star, Pt. 2," and the light-as-a-feather "Oh Joy" set the dials for the heart of the disco ball and form the shiny center of the album. Terje's unerring grooves and the sophisticated and melodic sounds he lays over the beat make them the easiest tracks to love. He's less successful when heading off the floor and into the chillout lounge ("Leisure Suit Preben"), the tiki room ("Preben Goes to Acapulco"), or whatever strange place the impossible-to-describe (or listen to more than once) "Svensk Sås" resides, though he does get lucky with a guitar-strumming electro '80s style ("Delorean Dynamite") that begs to have some vocoder vocals over the top. The sweeping, ice-colored synths get the job done fine anyway, and it seems like a path Terje would be wise to follow on future releases. The same can't be said for the one vocal feature on the record that finds a sepulchral Bryan Ferry croaking a version of Robert Palmer's "Johnny and Mary" that Terje decides to take at "Chariots of Fire" tempo and with the same level of portentous drama. It's a huge misstep that threatens to derail the album and wipe away all the good that exists. Take it out, along with a couple of filler-y tracks, and It's Album Time is a solid debut. As it stands, it's a hard album to get your head around and it's a hard album to fully embrace. Terje should set aside the experiments and just focus on making sleek and shiny electro-disco tracks; the rest only gets in the way of a good time. ~ Tim Sendra
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Ambient - Released July 8, 2013 | InFiné

Hi-Res Booklet + Video Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Electro - Released September 1, 2017 | DFA Records - Columbia

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Music - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
LCD isn't dead! After having solemnly interred his group at a farewell concert in April 2011 in Madison Square Garden in his native New York, James Murphy has reawakened the beast, six years later, with American Dream. Dressed up like a twenty-first century David Byrne (striking on Other Voices, whose chorus sounds like classic-era Talking Heads), the leader and his motley crew have brought out a fourth album organised around blends of rock, punk, funk and electro. This album is LCD Soundsystem through and through, with more classic songs (Call the Police, an interesting meeting of David Bowie and U2), and fewer purely dancefloor numbers (Other Voices will get you up and dancing all the same) Talking Heads, then, as ever: but also Berlin-era Bowie (Change Yr Mind and Black Screen), as James Murphy's other major influence. A whisker off a half-century old, he didn't need to reinvent LCD Soundsystem - but rather, to bring their unique sound into bloom: to enshrine this music which he has sculpted since the mid-2000s, blending punk swagger, electro sounds, new wave gloom, the hedonism of dance, and the weight of the political context of the moment. © MD/Qobuz
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Electro - Released April 6, 2015 | Combien Mille Records

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Qobuzissime
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Dance - Released January 1, 2011 | Polydor Records

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Electro - Released October 6, 2014 | Warp Records

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music - Top du mois de Jazznews
An early form of You're Dead! was the length of a double album -- a large mass of brief tracks that, for Steven Ellison, possibly signified nothing more than his fifth Flying Lotus album. As the producer and keyboardist spent more time absorbing and shaping the recordings, the title, initially comic in meaning, gained emotional weight while he was provoked to consider his mortality and the losses he has been dealt, including the deaths of his father and mother, his grandmother, his great aunt Alice Coltrane, and creative collaborator Austin Peralta. The completed You're Dead! consists of 19 tracks averaging two minutes in length that are intended to be heard in sequence from front to back. Its flow is even more liquid than that of Until the Quiet Comes, though the sounds are more jagged and free, with roots deeper in jazz. Ellison once again works extensively beside longtime comrades and pulls new collaborators into his sphere. All of them -- bassist and vocalist Thundercat, drummer Deantoni Parks, saxophonist Kamasi Washington, and many others worthy of mention -- help him push jazz, R&B, rap, and electronic music forward at once. Most striking and powerful of all is "Never Catch Me," easily the longest cut. An album's worth of ideas and a whirlwind guest appearance from rapper Kendrick Lamar are condensed into its four sonically rich minutes. The tone dramatically shifts with the following "Dead Man's Tetris," a sinister concoction of melodic bleeps and gunshot effects involving Ellison as Captain Murphy, and also Snoop Dogg, in which J Dilla, Freddie Mercury, and Peralta are all part of the afterlife fantasy. Previous Flying Lotus releases have their bleak and elegiac moments, but they're central here, highlighted by "Coronus, the Terminator" (an Ellison/Niki Randa duet), "Siren Song" (fronted by Dirty Projectors' Angel Deradoorian), and "Obligatory Cadence." The instrumentals range from playful, as reflected in titles like "Turkey Dog Coma" and "Turtles," to the distressed likes of "Tesla" and "Moment of Hesitation," with the latter two both anchored by Gene Coye's feverish percussion and Herbie Hancock's glimmering/flickering piano. It all plays out in a kind of elegantly careening fashion. It concludes with "The Protest," where Laura Darlington and Kimbra softly sing "We will live on forever" like a defiant mantra. Like his great aunt, and his great uncle John Coltrane, Ellison has created exceptionally progressive, stirring, and eternal art. ~ Andy Kellman
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Ambient - Released July 4, 2011 | Warp Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Album du mois Trax - Hi-Res Audio - Sélectionné par Ecoutez Voir
Drums Between the Bells is a collaboration by producer Brian Eno and poet Rick Holland. It was recorded just after Eno finished work on 2010's Small Craft on a Milk Sea, his debut for Warp, and it followed on the release schedule less than a year later. In that sense, the timing was good for such a risky project. Music and poetry are often difficult companions, and combining them is best left to experts; fortunately, Eno is just such an expert. Although Holland is an obscure poet, he first came to Eno’s notice back in the late ‘90s (through a university project), and his poetry is very good. Although his words and thoughts are impressionistic, his themes are easier to peg: urban living, science, and the intersection of philosophy and biology. The music is almost entirely Eno’s own, with only a few tracks featuring guest credits -- much less so than his previous album. While scattered moments here prove that percussion is still not his strong suit, the production is inviting, innovative, and a larger contributor to the general excellence of the record than the poetry. Eno draws mostly on ambient music for these productions, and only occasionally processes the vocals. One other characteristic, aside from Eno and Holland, makes this an unlikely success: there are a total of nine voices heard here (Holland only recites on one track). The decision to vary the speaking participants helps distinguish each piece, and gives the album just the hint of variety it needs. ~ John Bush
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Electro - Released May 17, 2010 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music - Sélection Les Inrocks
Following up Sound of Silver was never going to be easy for LCD Soundsystem. There was so much positive reaction from music fans, the press, from everywhere, really, that almost any move James Murphy made was bound to be seen as inferior, or at the very least, flawed in some way. To his credit, he doesn’t try to do anything dramatically different on This Is Happening. There are no attempts to hit the top of the charts (a point made crystal clear in the song “You Wanted a Hit”); conversely, there are no attempts to dirty up the sound or make it more challenging. There are no radically new elements added to the LCD sound, nothing subtracted either. Murphy is definitely a savvy enough musician to know when things have gotten stale and need to be changed up; he at some point must have decided (correctly) that the time for a reboot hadn’t arrived yet for LCD. Another record of long, dancefloor friendly disco-fied jams mixed with punchy rockers and paced with a couple introspective midtempo ballads is still perfectly acceptable, especially when it’s as tightly arranged, energetically played, and thoughtfully constructed as Happening is. Murphy’s highly skilled production is all over the record, from the squelchy layers of synths, the dry punch of the drums, and the tricks and surprises that bring the songs to life, to the way he makes it sound like a live band when it’s just him (though there are the occasional people helping out, most notably Nancy Whang on backing vocals). And while there isn’t a song as staggeringly emotional as Silver’s “All My Friends,” or as simply and heartfelt as its N.Y.C. tribute “New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down,” Murphy continues to expand as a songwriter and lyricist. He’s still the master of deadly zingers ("Eat it Michael Musto/You’re no Bruce Vilanch") and hilarious streams of lyrical gems (all of “Drunk Girls”), but songs like the nakedly emotional "I Can Change" (which includes the sweetly romantic plea for someone to “bore me and hold me and cling to my arm”) and the insistently melancholy “Somebody’s Calling Me” show continued growth and impressive range. Of course, if you aren’t all that interested in lyrics, artistic growth, and feelings, you can just crank up songs like "One Touch," "Pow Wow," or "Home" real loud and dance. At heart, Murphy remains a dance music producer and these tracks reveal him at the top of his game. This Is Happening doesn’t quite reach the monumental heights of Sound of Silver, but it serves as an almost-there companion and further proof that LCD Soundsystem is one of the most exciting and interesting bands around in the 2000s. ~ Tim Sendra
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House - Released February 14, 2011 | Pschent Music

Distinctions 3F de Télérama - Sélection Les Inrocks - The Unusual Suspects
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Techno - Released May 18, 2011 | Fool House

Hi-Res Distinctions Sélection Les Inrocks - 3 étoiles Technikart - Hi-Res Audio
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Electro - Released October 10, 2011 | InFiné

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Album du mois Trax - Sélection Les Inrocks - Hi-Res Audio
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Chill-out - Released September 20, 2010 | IAmSound

Distinctions 5/6 de Magic - Sélection Les Inrocks - 3 étoiles Technikart
A dark mystique has surrounded Salem since the trio released its debut EP, Yes I Smoke Crack, in 2008. The ominous imagery of their album artwork, the tales of John Holland's teenage prostitution and drug use and their place among the creators of the witch house/drag style gave the band something of a mythic quality even before their first full-length, King Night, was released. Over the course of their prolific singles and EPs, Holland, John Donoghue and Heather Marlatt shaped a sound that was as distinctive as it was improbable, fusing beats descended from juke and Southern hip-hop, electronics with a goth bent and shoegazing guitars into something deeply weird and trippy but also surprisingly natural, as if those elements had just been waiting to be combined. On the surface, goth and hip-hop may not have much in common, but they often share a bleak romanticism that Salem has in spades. King Night's title track blends choral vocals, suffocating synths and a tinny beat that is so obviously, proudly mechanical that it adds extra coldness while nodding to hip-hop. “Killer” boasts guitars so heavy they could have come from a Sunn 0))) album, while “Traxx” uses a sample of rattling chains as percussion. Thanks to having three writers and vocalists, the band is also good at adding depth and variety to a style that could seem like a novelty. Marlatt sounds like a fallen angel, adding credence to Salem's goth undercurrents with darkly ethereal tones that evoke the Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil on “Frost” and the beautiful “Redlights,” one of the band’s earliest and most definitive songs. Any small rays of hope raised by her songs are dashed by Donoghue's tracks, which very well may be the heart of Salem's unsettling darkness. He brings the trio’s hip-hop roots to the fore, rapping with a roll so slow he sounds like a zombie drinking sizzurp mixed with laudanum. His tracks are lulling and filled with dread at the same time, as on “Trapdoor,” where he intones “I can’t feel shit” over a looped sample of a car crash, or on “Sick,” where the refrain might as well be “six six six”. Meanwhile, Holland's tracks are somewhere in the middle, with his voice blurred into another wisp of Salem's fog. He emphasizes texture on “Release da Boar,” where echo-locating reverb and delay are piled on top of dead-of-night shoegaze with a sluggish pulse, and on “Hound,” where bongos take the song in an unexpected direction. Throughout all of King Night, the feeling of a séance being held or a spell being cast is palpable, but Salem's ability to be affecting and menacing at the same time is pure alchemy. ~ Heather Phares
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Trip Hop - Released January 1, 1998 | Circa

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Sélection du Mercury Prize
Increasingly ignored amidst the exploding trip-hop scene, Massive Attack finally returned in 1998 with Mezzanine, a record immediately announcing not only that the group was back, but that they'd recorded a set of songs just as singular and revelatory as on their debut, almost a decade back. It all begins with a stunning one-two-three-four punch: "Angel," "Risingson," "Teardrop," and "Inertia Creeps." Augmenting their samples and keyboards with a studio band, Massive Attack open with "Angel," a stark production featuring pointed beats and a distorted bassline that frames the vocal (by group regular Horace Andy) and a two-minute flame-out with raging guitars. "Risingson" is a dense, dark feature for Massive Attack themselves (on production as well as vocals), with a kitchen sink's worth of dubby effects and reverb. "Teardrop" introduces another genius collaboration -- with Elizabeth Fraser from Cocteau Twins -- from a production unit with a knack for recruiting gifted performers. The blend of earthy with ethereal shouldn't work at all, but Massive Attack pull it off in fine fashion. "Inertia Creeps" could well be the highlight, another feature for just the core threesome. With eerie atmospherics, fuzz-tone guitars, and a wealth of effects, the song could well be the best production from the best team of producers the electronic world had ever seen. Obviously, the rest of the album can't compete, but there's certainly no sign of the side-two slump heard on Protection, as both Andy and Fraser return for excellent, mid-tempo tracks ("Man Next Door" and "Black Milk," respectively). ~ John Bush

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Electro in the magazine