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Electronic - Released November 20, 2020 | Border Community

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Stepping into the spotlight at the end of the 00s with his hypnotic house released on the label Border Community, Norwich producer Luke Abbott left a six-year gap in his discography after Wysing Forest in 2014. In a period of soul-searching, he took on a range of projects including composing music for films, producing under a dancefloor alias (Earlham Mystic) and launching the experimental jazz trio Szun Waves with saxophonist Jack Wyllie from Portico Quartet and drummer Laurence Pike from PVT. Not to mention his soundtrack/album for Piano Day in 2019, Music from the Edge of an Island. Here he is back under his own name with a very conceptual album: Translate. “I’ve always been interested in trying to capture spontaneity in music – there’s a moment of excitement when you first make something where it’s totally fresh and new, and that’s the moment I want to record.” James Holden, the founder of Border Community (or as Abbott says, “sound engineer and spiritual guide”) helped him do this. Holden transformed his London studio for the occasion. He placed eight speakers around the room, one for each part of the piece. Luke Abbott sat in the centre and recorded the album like a series of small live performances, giving the album a texture and intensity that differs from his earlier, more planned productions. You really feel the “body” of the music here. It’s palpable right from the start, with the ominous single Kagen Sound where the synths build like storm clouds. Describing the track as a “cosmic corridor”, the opener is a brilliant indication of what’s to follow. One of his most interesting albums to date. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz

Electronic - Released November 5, 2020 | Border Community

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Electronic - Released September 22, 2020 | Border Community

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Electronic - Released August 14, 2020 | Border Community

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Electronic - Released March 6, 2020 | Border Community

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Dance - Released April 19, 2019 | Border Community

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Dance - Released April 12, 2019 | Border Community

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Dance - Released February 21, 2019 | Border Community

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Electronic - Released January 25, 2019 | Border Community

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Electronic - Released January 8, 2019 | Border Community

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Electronic - Released September 21, 2018 | Border Community

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Electronic - Released November 3, 2017 | Border Community

Holden has been in the game for well over two decades, starting out as a trance producer before exploring left-field house and techno. However, on his third full-length album, he breaks free from the restraints of so-called computer music and embraces the spirit of human performance. This isn't meant to be dismissive of the creativity and experimentation found in various pockets of the dance/electronic scene, but the next logical step for an artist brimming with ideas yet constrained by precedent. The result is the gloriously kaleidoscopic sound of Holden evolving as a musician, which he has thoroughly earned through years of pushing at boundaries. Genre labels such as electronic-prog-jazz-psych-folk would usually ring alarm bells, signifying that a record lacks clear direction, potentially compounded, in this case, by the fact that Holden and co. decided on a rough idea for each track before letting the music and performance guide the way. It's a huge testament, then, to the talent of everyone involved that the album takes a loose-fitting approach and manages to feel perfectly cohesive. Opening track "Incantation for Inanimate Object" kicks things off in ritualistic fashion -- like a slowly widening portal to another world -- before leading into the cascade of drums found on "Spinning Dance," which sets the pace for the rest of the record. Occasionally the album follows a more rigid structure, such as on "Each Moment Like the First." In another context rigidity might be negative criticism but here it's a welcome grounding after the free-fall of the previous tracks, and even then, it's hardly straightforward due to the odd time signature. The seeds that Holden plants for each track contain enough creative vitality to grow into unique forms. Take standout tracks such as "Thunder Moon Gathering" and "The Neverending," where the core ideas act as the driving force, while the improvised elements dance and weave throughout, in turn controlling the dynamics by ebbing and flowing as required. Overall, The Animal Spirits feels very organic, brought about by the spontaneity of the performances, the brief window of time in which it was recorded, and Holden's own evolutionary arc. It also offers a glimpse into the deeper corners of his psyche, peeling back another layer to reveal just how colorful his imagination can be. © Liam Martin /TiVo
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Electronic - Released September 20, 2017 | Border Community

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Electronic - Released August 16, 2017 | Border Community

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Dance - Released February 26, 2016 | Border Community

"OUTDOOR MUSEUM OF FRACTALS resembles an exquisitely and almost incomprehensibly detailed model train set, its slow-moving progression unfolding with more and more information and narrative." © TiVo
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Dance - Released November 27, 2015 | Border Community

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World - Released April 20, 2015 | Border Community

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Dance - Released June 23, 2014 | Border Community

"[T]here’s an organic side to its abrasiveness. ‘Unfurling’ calls to mind a myriad of ants pattering over some tree bark…" © TiVo
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Dance - Released February 24, 2014 | Border Community

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Dance - Released November 11, 2013 | Border Community