Akufen

My Way

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

One could say that Marc LeClair is to tech-house what Todd Edwards is to garage, since they both apply cut-up techniques to their hook-heavy productions. And, rather frequently, those cut-ups are the hooks. However, LeClair does away with scissors and wields a gleaming exacto knife instead, splicing seconds of the radio babble he has recorded -- from songs, commercials, DJs, who knows what else -- and proficiently places them all for the sake of the tune. Bored with hearing rhythms, choruses, and complete songs transferred from one artist to another, LeClair is motivated to render his randomly captured samples unrecognizable and sculpt them into something that is much greater than their sum. With all the talk of LeClair's methodologies and aims (his own declarations in the liners taken into consideration), it's easy to get lost on the fact that My Way is a terrifically delightful, upbeat record, tipsy with buoyant basslines, swooning textures, and unorthodox hooks. The 4/4 beat on the opening "Even White Horizons" takes four minutes to kick in, prefaced by a cluster of fragmented acoustic guitar flicks that dart in and out between the left and right channels. Following that, the baleful haze of "Installation" and the blissed-out daze of "Skidoos" offer thumping vapor dub, only setting the table for what's to come. "Deck the House" is the obvious centerpiece, a seemingly painstaking but joyously frantic bricolage of LeClair's recordings (blurts of harmonica, snips of radio jingles and pop tunes, more acoustic quarter-licks, unidentifiable sources reduced to squiggles and blips) married to a jumpy house rhythm. That's where the album crests, but the remaining six songs keep the magic flowing, ending with the title track -- a smooth vocal number that seals off one whale of a record.

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