Somewhat astonishing considering the contemporary feel of the album and the transitional nature of dance music, this reissue of Roskoe Kretschmann's astonishing debut album, Universal, was originally released in the early months of 1997 and attracted the support of such heavyweight nu-jazz tastemakers as Jazzanova, Kruder, and Rainer Trüby. While the more straightforward jazz of "Arena" won't appeal to all, the majority of the material successfully fuses live instrumentation with electronic elements -- with this work at its best in the wandering percussion and shivering keys of "Aeroboot" and the superbly sleazy "Les Promesses d'une Chevelure," where big orchestration and dirty guitar hooks make out in a Parisian back alley. With two previously unreleased tracks, Early Works offers a rare second glance at a hitherto undiscovered gem.
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AllMusic Review by Kingsley Marshall