UXB

Urban Mutant

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

When not running the small but worthy Noisebox label out of Norwich during the early to mid-'90s, Pete Morgan pursued his interests with ambient techno as UXB. Out of sync with the jungle revolution that was turning electronic dance into a new, frenetic explosion, UXB's material emphasized gentler grooves that wouldn't have sounded out of place at all with California's blissed-out rave atmosphere at the same time. Urban Mutant, collecting a variety of tracks recorded from 1993 to 1995, helps make the case that UXB stands the test of time -- what might have sounded pleasant if potentially anonymous at the time comes across as a bright slice of a potential future. Anchored by two equally fine versions of the title track -- both long and both stretching out into sweetly psychedelic haze, with the former a more straightforward dance track and the latter an exquisite zone-out -- Urban Mutant makes for a listen as easy to softly nod off to as to dance along with. The deep, tribal beats of "The Love Of" get nicely offset by drifting, slow synth melodies and a subtle hint of dub echo here and there, complemented well by the very heavily treated and abbreviated "Funky Drummer" loop that lurks through the darker "Do I Love You?" like a weird ghost. Some cuts explore the ambient side of Morgan's art even more explicitly, but if the liquid synth lines and echoes of "Still Waters Run Deep" may start without beats, its rhythmic loops spiked with bass pulses still generate understated grooves. "Carillons," meanwhile, sounds like something potentially out of new age territory more than anything else, though thankfully more from the Vidna Obmana/Steve Roach wing instead of sonic gloop (and the use of the titular instruments doesn't hurt).

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
UXB
10:56
2
UXB
7:24
3
UXB
6:10
4
UXB
4:36
5
UXB
7:01
6
UXB
14:05
7
UXB
16:13
blue highlight denotes track pick