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ALBUMS REVIEWS 8.5


Com Truise In Decay Ghostly International Archive artistry


Collections of unreleased tracks pulled from a producer’s hard drive rarely tend to be the most fruitful of creative pursuits, more likely thrown together filler than carefully conceived killer. Hence the head-scratching when we realised Com Truise’s second LP — a single year on from the excellent ‘Galactic Melt’ — is gathered from an archive dating back barely two years. Much to our surprise, then, it’s as good as the debut, proving the exceptional prolificacy at the hands of NY’s Seth Haley is nothing new. Tracing — or should we say navigating? — similarly cosmic realms as the last, ‘In Decay’ is sci-fi ‘80s electro with a modern bass sensibility, slightly less broken than his first, but equally as forward-thinking in its angular dealings with shape and form. Adam Saville


Nathan Fake Steam Days Border Community Walk on the wild side


Psychogeography is the theory that the landscape and history of places subconsciously shape the minds of the people that live there. It’s a theory that seems to have inspired Nathan Fake, who takes a musical stroll around his native Norfolk on his third album, naming ‘Iceni Strings’ after ancient Celtic tribes and ‘Nekotona’ after the village where he was born. Sonically, the analog electronics and rusty rhythms stake out similar terrain to Fake’s debut album ‘Drowning In A Sea Of Love’, but ‘World Of Spectrum’s corrosive synths mean ‘Steam Days’ is hardly a relaxing stroll in the country, whilst the manically threshing ‘Glow Hole’ is like being pursued by a phantom combine harvester. Indeed, the places Fake delves often seem more psychological than geographical and as such — despite some fairly heavy beats — ‘Steam Days’ is best absorbed on a couch rather than in a club. Paul Clarke


7.0 Mala


In Cuba Brownswood


Dubstep with a lime


Arriving on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood imprint, this second album from Digital Mystikz’s Mala isn’t quite dubstep’s ‘New Forms’ — it sticks a little too loyally to the genre’s old tenets for that. A typically sensitive and tactful stab at giving dubstep a Latin makeover, it rewards repeated listening, though the Cuban influence can border on the imperceptible, with the strongest cuts (‘Changuito’, ‘Revolution’) varying little from what Mala’s known for. Made from samples recorded in Havana, its influence is most felt in the percussion and sublime live snatches used as teasing introductions, though the looming ambience comes from a city closer to home — if ‘and Bristol’ had been added to the title, it wouldn’t likely raise many eyebrows. But if Mala doesn’t travel far from his comfort zone, this still reveals a producer happy to tread the line between new possibilities and dubstep orthodoxy, albeit cautiously. Sunil Chauhan


7.5 7.5


John Tejada The Predicting Machine Kompakt A touch predictable


From his base in LA, John Tejada has proved himself to be one of the most pristine, polished and prolific producers of a seriously melodic brand of tech house. The album format is what he has focused on, releasing almost 10 in the last 15 years, with ‘The Predicting Machine’ his latest effort on familiar home, Kompakt. Little seems to have changed in Tejada’s mind since last LP ‘Parabolas’, with the same poppy hooks and chirpy and metallic grooves forming the backbone of this album. Where it does really excel, though, is in the more broken beat, bass-heavy experiments. The opening track, for example, or ‘Glaring Happy,’ which kicks with a nice snap in its snares as melting bell sounds ring off into the distance like an adult lullaby. The grit of these bottom ends offers a nice contrast to the melodies up top and, as a result, they really stand out. Kristan J Caryl


System Of Survival


Needle And Thread Bpitch Control


8.5 Likely to survive


MUCH like the music policy of the infamous DC10 event they’ve warmed up weekly since it began in 1999, Circoloco residents System Of Survival keep moving forward. Yet, while it may not be the most bravely subversive LP to drop through DJ Mag HQ’s letterbox, this long overdue debut ‘Needle And Thread’ sure as hell is one of the most tightly produced. Making their mark with an electroclash/techno EP on Freak ‘N Chic in 2005, Italian pair Alessandro Carpentieri and Pietro De Lisi inevitably succumbed


to the minimal techno creeping into their sets during the latter part of the decade. On ‘Needle And Thread’, however, it’s refreshing to hear a resistance to the heady disco deep house storming Ibiza, System Of Survival preferring instead to carve a timeless sound on their terms.


Closer to the polished melodica of Vincenzo than the boggy house of Crosstown’s Fur Coat and Amirali, System Of Survival create warm, balmy sunset hues


www.djmag.com


on ‘Love Beat’ and ‘Needle And Thread’, and even feed trippy two-step into the airy ‘Nihil’. ‘W Pitch’ wouldn’t be out of place on Needwant, ‘Phat Trax’ is a piano- laden homage to Chicago acid, while the pick of the bunch is the succulent microhouse of ‘X-Pert’. Shaped as a patchwork of sensory and emotional snapshots, ‘Needle And Thread’ is certainly an experience you’ll want to share. Adam Saville


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