Urban Tribe

Authorized Clinical Trials

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With the assistance of Detroit techno juggernauts Carl Craig, Shake, and Kenny Dixon, Jr., Sherard Ingram (aka Urban Tribe) crafted what could be considered one of the most underrated treasures in all of electronic music: The Collapse of Modern Culture, on the esteemed Mo 'Wax imprint in 1998. And while its commercial success was overshadowed by other Mo Wax ongoings at the time (see: UNKLE), many critics and beatheads alike were taken aback by the sensitivity and beauty of the album, from its shimmering opening moments to its dark conclusion. So when the announcement of a new Urban Tribe record hit the blogs and music press, people awaited with great anticipation to see where Ingram would take the project next. Right from Authorized Clinical Trials opener "Polar Molecule," it's clear that the melodies and textures of Collapse were disposed of; replaced by hard, clinical electro beats that are textbook Detroit electro (taking a page from UR aquanauts Drexciya isn't surprising, as Ingram was the DJ arm of the project under the name DJ Stingray). At some points Ingram takes the best of Kraftwerk and the best of The New Dance Show (a popular dance program in Detroit during the '80s and '90s) and makes hard, clinical electro-funk that's meant for partying and jitting (a popular Detroit dance) more than paranoid contemplation. So while it may not be a victory for those looking for a follow-up along the same lines of Collapse of Modern Culture, it's still a wonderful slice of Detroit electro for those who still thirst for Drexciyan-inspired beats and melodies.

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