Formed in 1998, and winners of the Disco Mix Club World Team DJ Championships for a consecutive four years in the mid-noughties, the French turntablist crew formerly known as Coups2Cross have certainly taken their time making their way into the recording studio. Even then, their debut release Down the Road is only an EP featuring six tracks, one of which appears twice, suggesting that Greem, Pfel, 20Syl, and Atom are still more concerned with gracing the clubs than the charts. However, what it lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality as there's more invention on display in its brief 28-minute running time than many knob-twiddlers manage in an entire career. The opening title track is a scratch music tour de force, blending an unlikely combination of chopped-up Daft Punk-inspired electro, acoustic country twangs, '80s synth pop beats and Moby-style vintage blues vocal samples to produce a party-starting melting pot of sounds which makes the Avalanches' cut-and-paste approach look bog-standard. The quartet's hyperactivity continues on the Justice-esque "Arcades," whose glitchy rhythms, dub-bass wobbles, and array of video game bleeps are interrupted by a medieval harpsichord breakdown, while elsewhere, the West Coast-tinged "The Beat" and the late-night slow jam "Someday" recall the sample-heavy hip-hop of DJ Shadow, while the epic closer "F-U-Y-A." triumphantly adds a neo-classical edge to the ubiquitous dubstep sound. The Outlines/Irfane' glossy synth-funk remix of the title track is surplus to requirements, but overall, Down the Road is a master class in how to translate the art of turntablism on tape, which only makes you wish they'd get a move on and commit to a full-length album.
AllMusic Review by Jon O'Brien