Bill Van Loo

Live at Leopold Bros.

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Live at Leopold Bros. is a practically flawless quilt of Bill Van Loo's micro-tech productions in the form of an hour-long mix. Flowing smoothly with unpredictable spontaneity but coming off as meticulously mapped out at the same time, these ten tracks -- several of which have been retooled from their Chromedecay Tracks: 1996-2001 origins -- form a thoroughly enjoyable, all-in-one evidentiary record of Van Loo's ability to craft a wide spectrum of sounds and moods that alternately translate to the living room and the club. Opening with the beautifully fragile, lullaby-like "Tones (For Sarah)," Van Loo guides the listener through a maze of tracks that slowly unfold and soothe. The manners in which the track transitions are made is almost as crucial as the productions themselves, best exemplified in the low, reverberant tones that bridge "Opposite Angle" to "You Are." And on other occasions, tracks seem plugged together rather than traditionally mixed or slammed together. As varied and engrossing as the first seven tracks are, it all seems like a mere setup once "Rejection/Seduction" gets rolling. Opening with a series of cyclone-like swoons, a loose, light-on-its-toes techno groove with a cluster of synthetic percussive elements eventually nestles in, taking the set into an entirely different place without sounding the least bit disjointed. From there, it closes out with a pair of Van Loo's finest dub/techno hybrids, capped off by an improved version of the chugging "FM Study." With a wicked bassline, some great use of handclaps, and a dollop of unobtrusive glitch, the track draws it all to a close. Unfortunately, only 300 copies were pressed.

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