Andy Stott Andy StottPassed Me By
The sleeve could be a clue: it’s very similar to the one of T++’s goodbye from Honest Jon’s, that “Wireless EP” testing the boundaries of Berlin-like techno-dub in an escape forward –half spatial, half Africanist. Most of all, that single by the discreet half of Monolake was characterised by its deepness and slowness, two features that also identified 2010’s best techno record, Actress’ “Splaszh”. Both releases indicated a sonic twist in the most cutting-edge 4x4 music –suggested earlier by the creeping and grainy German deep house, with Kassem Mosse spearheading (via Detroit: Sound Signature, Sistrum, FXHE)–, and the final detonation was expected any time. There is none, because this interior techno at snake-speed isn’t the kind of stuff you can make in an afternoon spent in front of the computer, it requires skills, intelligence and respect for history, apart from ample experience as a producer or consumer. But every time someone refers, directly or discreetly, to the “Actress style”, one should listen up: that’s where the good stuff usually is for lovers of electronic dance music.
Andy Stott was someone who could continue this sound: he always stood out because of his irremediable taste and the high capacity of his sonic metabolism to make new sounds his own. He did it with intelligent techno in the vein of Claro Intelecto, with the Basic Channel-Maurizio-Chain Reaction dynasty and, not so long ago, with juke, drum’n’bass and the second techno-dub revival. It’s no different here: he makes the complicated easy, forces the pause of the beat, leaving it almost in a coma (“New Ground”) and, for seven tracks –collectable double vinyl, little over 30 minutes of ethereal suspense– submerges the room in a thick cloud of slow synths –it’s not the chopped & screwed version of Detroit techno, but it is an idea that approaches the final sound, especially on “Dark Details” and “Execution”, where the voices are cavernous like in a Salem rap–, super deep basslines –“Passed Me By”, the last track, is the aesthetic renovation of the Echospace sound– and isolated, neon light synths (“Intermittent”). It’s a straight-up masterpiece that should be listened to on a tremendous soundsystem or with the headphones on maximum volume. It had to be Andy.