Out of Breach (Manchester's Revenge)

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Unless you're a shady label owner ("Tigerbastard"), an exploitative media land-shark ("Stop Bothering Michael Jackson"), an eBay pirate ("I'm Coming to Get You"), a cowardly DJ ("Like a Little B*tch"), a person who cuts in line at a money-exchange counter ("Extreme"), or a hater ("Haters"), there's no reason to feel truly antagonized by the second album from husband-wife duo Maurice Fulton (instruments, production) and Mutsumi Kanamori (vocals, "body fluids"). Out of Breach isn't much different from 2003's Afro Finger and Gel, flitting between left-field house that is remotely danceable and bracingly atonal sheets of noise, often within the span of one track. A couple tracks aren't much more than rewrites of highlights from the previous album, but Fulton's combination of programming and live instrumentation is so unique, sounding so little like anything DFA-related or inspired (despite a mutual love for viscous bass, clattering percussion, and handclaps), that it's easy to forgive. Kanamori is clearly the boldest force on the album, an impulsive vocalist who can be an unhinged banshee as easily as a detached pop diva, but Fulton is making some of the most inspired, least compromised productions of his long career. On "Paris Hilton," he serves up raw Chicago house, hair-ruining gusts of wind included. "We Love Guys Named Luke"'s bassline could've come from a disheveled garage rocker, while the one in "Extreme" could've come from a dapper Brit-funk player. Since the duo aren't afraid to take chances at the cost of confusing or challenging listeners, a couple moments are bound to be thought of as disposable or too bloody-minded to "get," but more than enough tracks hit the gut and hips quickly enough to make it as nastily enjoyable as Afro Finger. Best line on the album: "You think I won't break my claw/Let's not forget time in Warsaw."

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