Hardfloor

Respect

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

So named due to the list of influences and friends on the front cover, ranging from expected names like Derrick May and Joey Beltram to more unlikely figures like Tears for Fears' Roland Orzabal, Respect found the duo over the initial hype and attention -- thanks to "Acpierience" -- and settling more into the often tricky task of creating a successful full-length album. If not completely there, Respect makes a fair effort, though it's little surprise that Zenker and Bondzio decided to vary their formula (and quite successfully at that) with the Da Damn Phreak Noize Phunk? EP later that year. In comparison, Respect is just as smart, crisp, and focused as the duo's initial splashes, but just not as revelatory, a restatement of ability that quietly takes some chances instead of boldly grabbing them. Things don't really pick up until the third track, with "Asbestos in Obstetrics" taking the acid and techno backgrounds Hardfloor swear by to a confident head, and from there Respect makes its effective way. "Reverbrate Opinion" is one of the definite standouts, one of the longest tracks and the one that most effectively uses said length, with the then-omnipresent didgeridoo drone used in a perfectly haunting fashion behind the steady beats. If everything from the mid-song beat dropout to the reclimax of the song is familiar enough in approach, the results are still brutally effective. The chopped-up pseudo-string stutter of "Strawberry Maze" makes for a good hook and center, while the rolling bongo beats that accompany the basic pulse on "Mahogany Roots" hint, however indirectly, toward later percussion explorations. Other tracks do the business without making the biggest of impacts -- "Kangaroos and Bubbles" wears its own didgeridoo mania more openly perhaps, but can't compete with Aphex Twin's own classic exploration into the form.

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