The Anachim Thorn

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Taking their cue heavily from the bedroom-producer phenomenon, Hellothisisalex has a serious knack for abstract beats and purposeful mistakes. And with this penchant comes a love of antiquated machinery of the analog sort. Nevertheless, The Anachim Thorn is a brilliant debut for these electronic pranksters, who are willing to stick the plug in the wrong socket even when it is labeled "Danger." Classic drum machine bloops confront DSP technology with aplomb, setting Mark Prier and Melissa Creasey apart from the pack of anonymous laptop producers. Perhaps their geography sets them apart as well, as one of them lives in Toronto and the other in the rural Ontario countryside. Though it is hard to extract from the record alone, the duo claims to take a David Lynch-like look at small-town Canada, bouncing off themes with fellow Ontarian Manitoba (aka Dan Snaith). For a pair of novices, they attack their material with a confidence only matched by Kid606. Their restless spirit leads them down many different, often cloudy paths and fortunately the results are magnificent. The production values are high and so is the attention to detail and melody. This is by no means a complacent piece of faceless techno, but rather a fierce attack on the ultra-plain state in which techno found itself in the late '90s.

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