Luke Slater

Fear And Loathing, Vol. 2: Mixed By Luke Slater

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With a decade-long recording career that has spanned as many albums and dozens of singles and EPs, Luke Slater has always been one of England's finest techno chameleons. From his early IDM albums and storming drum-centric techno recorded as Planetary Assault Systems to his brainy electro-funk and recent yet mercifully brief misstep into the realm of electroclash on his 2002 album Alright On Top, Slater has cut the path more often than followed it. On his first release after his critically panned techno-pop accident (and an unusually long break in his prolific release schedule), Slater has decided to take stock via the sequel to his Fear and Loathing double mix CD. The first Fear and Loathing was an epic techno barrage that to many ears sounded the death knell for the '90s fixation with the harder, faster, louder pace of minimal and looping dance music. The second installment gets to the hard techno as well...eventually. But before it does, disc one offers a dubby, glitchy, at times purely ambient affair. Building from his own gaseous and beatless "Long Last" to playing mind games with the clicks and wiggles of Isolée and Brothomstates, disc one is a head-nodding affair that trades in interesting sounds and clever effects rather than propulsive beats. As can be expected, disc two starts off with a funkier electro pace, scoring points with Dopplereffeckt and Renegade Soundwave before going off full bore with new jack techno faves ("Rocker"), storming techno classics ("Women Beat Their Men"), and techno/industrial hybrids (Nitzer Ebb's gritty "Murderous"). Whether this mix will help Slater find his bearings won't be confirmed until he releases some new music of his own. But like all of his achievements, and even in his few failures, he's proven to be unafraid to go way beyond what is expected from your typical techno star.

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