Though Bassland's full-length debut emerged in 2000, the many years the duo had worked together beforehand stood Alex Xenophon and Stuart Breidenstein in very good stead when it came time for its release. Dedicated not merely to high-quality techno and related electronic music forms but also explicitly attempting to trash any pointless genres or limiting descriptions, Bassland came up with one heck of a fine album. The inclusion of a cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Piggy," originally done for a tribute album, is enough of a sign. Xenophon does the singing, as he does at many others points throughout the album, elsewhere adding another supposed no-no -- acoustic and electric guitar -- to a variety of tracks. The result may not be considered "pure" dance music according to some, but in terms of a fine, inspired fusion that incorporates different approaches rather than simply applying token arrangements, it beats the heck out of a lot of time wasters. The soft, dreamy textures of "Balloon," the subtle, morose bite of "End With U," and the soulful, ragged edge of "This Never Happened" all benefit from a variety of different vocals approaches from Xenophon, adding to rather than imposing on the music in and of itself. The flouting of convention actually appears from the start -- much of "Untitled" could have been recorded in 1994, with its liquid flow of beats and textures suggesting old chillout rooms before brisk, light rhythms with a touch of drum'n'bass bubble up to the fore. Meanwhile, tracks like "Betty," with its gently aggro builds and breaks, clearly indicate that the two know their roots and can easily fill the floor with the best of them. While not being on the supposed cutting edge would make many trend-chasing acts freak out, Bassland simply pursues its own path and the devil can take the self-proclaimed hip.
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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett