The second and final release by this London-based new music collective, Professor Slack is a three-song 10" EP that adds a more prominent melodic component to the additive rhythms of their self-titled debut. Each track was written by a different member of the group. The opening of Schaun Tozer's title track marries Philip Glass-style pulsing keyboards to a circular flute solo that has a surprisingly jazzy groove to it, not unlike Herbie Mann's work with the wind instrument. A more raucous B section features handclaps and foot percussion, and sounds as if it was written for a dance performance. The lengthy piece ends with an almost funky section dominated by multiple electric pianos and an even meatier return of the jazz flute, here played with a growling physicality of Rahsaan Roland Kirk. On the flip side, Andrew Poppy's "Animal Behaviour and Crude Din" is an atypically poppy tune dominated by a hooky synthesizer melody performed in a bright and bouncy fashion. With proper lyrics instead of the wordless nonsense syllables the uncredited vocalists sing, it could have been a hit single by Thomas Dolby or Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Despite the self-deprecating title, "Animal Behaviour and Crude Din" is an utterly unexpected delight. The aptly-titled "Rise and Fall" is a simple but charming piece of systems music by John Barker, with multiple pianos locking into a hypnotic rhythm while flutes and saxes swirl about on the surface. Surprisingly, Professor Slack was produced by pop mastermind John Leckie, better known for his work with groups like XTC and the Posies.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason