Reviewed by Subba-Cultcha
Electronic guru mutates techno and hijacks dubstep with a rave hardcore mix
A pioneer of the electro scene since the early nineties and a techno innovator Neil Landstrumm experiments across all genres of electronic dance music. Continuing his foray into what some call “wonky” techno he gives us a mix of dubstep, rave and hardcore on his new album ‘Restaurant of Assassins,’ released on Planet Mu.
Landstrumm constructs his pieces with a skewed ear. Distortion and a variety of different samples populate his tracks to provide a mish-mash of music and provide an aural hook that is a delight to the ears. Sounds build, dominate for a short period and then fall away as we move, for example, from a Kraftwerk sound to a funky bass to a siren, all within the space of a minute. His artistry reveals itself in making the pieces whole, in celebrating the disorientating shift but also in unifying them with some hypnotic beats providing the stability on which he builds.
‘Kids Wake Up,’ is experimental hardcore with samples. ‘Yorkshire Steel Cybernetics,’ featuring Big Bully gives us low-end dexterity and a looping bass line. ‘Reverse Rebel,’ with The Ragga Twins on vocals veers more towards rave than hardcore while ‘Give Them Fire,’ is a bass-heavy low frequency hardcore/dubstep mix. He hijacks the contemporary structure of the latter but adapts it for his own means. With a nod to old favourites like The Happy Mondays, Yorkshire Bass N Bleep and the KLF he brings it all together in his own inimitable way.
The tracks continually change in terms of the samples used. He mixes up classic UK techno with acid house, hip hop and dub step by means of well executed low-end pressure and immaculate precision. If you want to hear something more than techno repetition, then check this out. It’s an album that looks outward and invites everyone to join the party rather than constructing its own inner sanctum.
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