So What

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Few names are more synonymous with acid techno than German producers Hardfloor. Yet Oliver Bondzio and Ramon Zenker know when to unplug their significant other, less it become a crutch. The Roland 303 hardly makes an appearance on So What?! Instead, the duo spends its energies on programming the stomping techno beat found on "Communication 2 None" or the breaks of "Snifter for Daddy" and "Frozen Spotlight," the latter of which sounds like a sped-up version of anything the duo recently recorded as Da'Damn'Phreak'Noize'Phunk. Hardfloor still has a soft spot for the past, with "Non-Smoking Post Office" revisiting the early days of German trance, while a prototypical acid blurb does appear during the course of the title track. Altogether, this album has a lot more diversity than the group's previous work, and that makes it an easier listen all the way through. Hardfloor may not have completely abandoned the sound that made it famous, but at least the duo has the good sense not to flog the same horse too often.

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