Part of a Mille Plateaux resurgence that also included albums from Ametsub and Kabutogani, the fifth Clicks & Cuts is less a "paradigm shift" -- as the label calls it -- than a slight update. IDM cynics might view it as the opposite of innovation, or something like a compilation made in honor of the advances showcased throughout the series’ first three volumes. None of the contributors from the previous installments are present. They’re replaced by a new crop of producers who create digital electronic music that tends to sit near (or at) one end of the soothing/unsettling spectrum. The majority of the tracks are in the mold of material from past Clicks & Cuts names like Vladislav Delay, Farben, Pole, Kit Clayton, and Pan Sonic. Irregular rhythms, spectral flickers, shards and slivers of abrasive noise, drones that resemble the hum of large appliances, and what sounds like malfunctioning gadgets are part of the fabric. There are a couple outliers: Loom’s subdued “Isolex 03” is akin to something on the abstract hip-hop Beat Dimensions compilations (or an update of the Mo Wax label’s late-‘90s roster), and Rimacona’s “Message” is (gasp) a song -- at root, a piano ballad with vocals. Only five of the 17 tracks appear to be exclusives; the other 12 have either been released, or will be released, on albums from Mille Plateaux, Ritornell, Force Intel, or Cluster. If a little of this kind of thing goes a long way for you, stick to any one of the first three volumes.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman