Andrew Duke

Take Nothing for Granted

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Andrew Duke reinvents himself almost with every release. Take Nothing for Granted, released on his own Cognition Audioworks imprint, stands half-a-continent away from the long, oppressive drone pieces of More Destructive Than Organized while keeping its distances from Sprung, his beat-friendly CD for Bip-Hop. This album consists of 18 short tracks (mostly in the three- to four-minute range) focusing on low crackling textures. Clicks and cuts provide the basis of the material, their assemblage hiding complex patterns under a random facade. In some pieces, beat is reduced to a fugitive pulse. It is put forward only twice, in "Shuffle" and "Or," the latter being the only thumping track -- it is also one of the strangest, with a sharp Pita/Mego flavor. Most of the pieces flow by unnoticed due to their shortness and lack of distinctive features. In fact, some of them sound more like studies -- exercises to find the right texture to be used in a future, more developed work. As it is, Take Nothing for Granted is somewhat disappointing. Duke's decision to stick to stripped-down, minimalist constructions doesn't translate into a convincing artistic statement. The album picks up some momentum in the last few tracks ("Or," "Source," the very short "Shovel" produced with Chris Douglass (aka O.S.T.)), but it is not enough to lift the impression that Duke fell victim of a momentary lack of inspiration.