Dub Taylor's third album in as many years is his second for Force Tracks, and like the recent output from a number of his labelmates -- MRI, Luomo -- it continues a gradual move from shadowy, Basic Channel-inspired minimalist house to thicker productions that bear the influence of pop music, whether it's '70s disco or Pet Shop Boys. Taylor hasn't made the transition as smoothly as his brethren, but that has less to do with raw talent and more to do with the fact that many of these tracks would work better outside the context of an album. The first eight tracks are all in the seven-minute range, and the range of sounds isn't wide enough to be conducive to a full listen-through. About four tracks in, the album begins to resemble a bunch of DJ tools thrown together onto one disc; it doesn't have the flow that Forms & Figures and Detect possess. Most of the tracks are fine on their own, with the kind of super-plump basslines and disorienting effects that many microhouse producers had switched to in the past year, but the lack of variety becomes grinding. It also doesn't help that there are a couple outright clunkers in the mix, including "Sweet Awakening" -- a syrupy downtempo track with chirpy vocals that numerous chillout-compilation compilers likely have their sights set on. Near the end of the album, however, is one of Taylor's least characteristic -- and best -- tracks yet. "Flop" is more original than anything else here and is slightly silly, with a detached male vocal that repeatedly deadpans, "I raise my head to the top...and flop." Coming after those first eight tracks, it's practically an oasis, but hopefully more than a few deep-digging left-field house DJs will find it and give it the attention it deserves.
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman
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