Explosion Robinson

The Luxury Leader

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On his debut album, ex-Sukpatch associate and former Casiocore member Steve Herman stays true to the beat-driven indie pop sound pioneered by the Slabco label, with generally pleasant results. The 18 tracks feature such familiar staples as goofy television samples, frantic riffing on Moog and Casio, deceptively funky hip-hop breaks, and an overall playful tone. While it breaks no new ground, The Luxury Leader is a fun, breezy listen appropriate for background music at a casual party. Tracks like "Chop Cuts" and "Down Home" are solid instrumental hip-hop in the vein of Dynomite D, "Liberation Jumpsuit" hints at an exotica fixation, and "Need It That Bad" sounds like an earnest demo for a '70s cop-show theme. Explosion Robinson's more distinctive touches come when Herman plays with the formula, as on the uncharacteristically eerie "French Jacuzzi Dub" and "Lower Than That," both of which borrow from minimal techno.

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