Constant Friction

Collaborations, Vol. 2

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Jon Tye likes to mess things up, and he appreciates allies who feel similarly. His Lo Recordings label is a formidable adversary of musical complacency, restlessly crossbreeding electronica, indie rock, jazz, and pop. Lo's compilation offerings, which work variations on the mutation theme, have been especially instrumental in breaking down walls between genres and attitudes.

CONSTANT FRICTION encourages underground heavyweights and lesser-knowns to clash in the spirit of 1996's COLLABORATIONS mix-and-match melee of electronica's spiritual fathers, sons, and brethren. Each pairing has its own mixological blueprint, though rhythmic disruption seems to be a common aim. Lo regulars Rothko, Richard Thomas, and Tye himself (Twisted Science) are true sources of CONSTANT FRICTION. These wildcards subject willingly to antithetical treatments (Four Tet's classic contouring of "Rivers Become Oceans"; Zan Lyons' and Thomas' mutual atomic obliteration), impose order upon disarray (Monsoon Bassoon's unwieldy prog-punk, Kid-606's digital chaos), and playfully striate the smooth (Squarepusher's slick fusion licks, Void's lean, monochrome techno). Elsewhere, Sophia/Obx, Cylob/Mike Flowers, Addie Brick/Plaid, and Stereolab/Hairy Butter pump up various strains of pop with electronic eccentricity and mutant beats; Hrvatski/Blitter achieve symbiotic breakbeat meltdown; and Luke Vibert takes pedal-steel legend BJ Cole to a very strange place.

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