For Peter Ford's first official solo album since 1996's Headphoneasyrider (2001's Sacred Machine was credited to Baby Ford and the Ifach Collective), the once forgotten U.K. acid house star makes a slight return to his roots while staying well within the confines of the minimal underground sound he defined in relative obscurity in the ten years since the "accciiieed!!!" explosion. Taking a look strictly at Ford's recent output, Basking in the Brakelights is a rambunctious affair. The moody dub sheen found on Headphone and Machine is replaced by a more spacious and hearty beat that attacks rather than demurs. All of these dozen tracks operate with the bubbling, popping samples of tracks from Perlon and similar microhouse labels. And this more propulsive style allows Ford to peer back at some of his earlier roots, including snapping synth and snare workouts on "Exopolis" and "Glasshammer Time" that easily recall the Chicago acid house tunes of the late '80s that inspired Ford in the first place. Even the cover art, representing the sunglass-wearing artist cast in red, blue, and yellow overtones, recalls the playful covers of his early works rather than the stark minimalism of later design. Though certainly not a retread, Ford, like many other techno musicians of his tenure, has seemingly come full circle musically, allowing the music of his past to exist equally with the drive to discover new forms.
Basking in the Brakelights Review
by Joshua Glazer