Spring Heel Jack


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Oddities is the perfect title for this album, which is billed as an "'official bootleg' featuring music from (the group's) private collection" and which collects compilation tracks and other ephemera selected from Spring Heel Jack's various side projects. Those in search of the artsy, refined drum'n'bass that has always been this band's stock in trade will be disappointed; in fact, grooves of any kind are pretty much absent. But those with a taste for the weird, the abstract, and the avant-garde will find a lot to like here. The program includes modern musique concrete ("Trouble," "Piece for Six Turntables"), dubwise sinewave sculpture ("Shine a Light"), raver minimalism ("2nd Piece for LaMonte Young"), and the group's remix of Material's "Road to the Western Lands," which features the voice of William Burroughs intoning factoids about Egyptian soul death over an eerie and deeply reverberant ambient soundscape. The only steady rhythm to be found is on the album's opening track, a fuzzy conglomeration of nested guitar loops and keyboard samples. This is a consistently interesting album, if not always a completely enjoyable one.

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