Haven’t SMD done well? They’ve managed to steer a course between the noisy, poppy electro scene they emerged into and the experimental, psychedelic leanings they’ve had since they were just Simian, flirt with all kinds of celebrity guest vocalists yet retain underground credibility, and are still – on the evidence of this record – absorbing new influences even as they settle into the heart of the dance establishment.
Indeed, listening to opener ‘I Waited for You’, you might think those new influences had taken over: the surging synths and pitched-down, cut-up vocals are straight from the post Joy Orbison school of new bass music. But there are classic SMD vintage drum machine sounds in there too, and as the album unfolds around different tempos and styles you realise ‘Waited...’ is part of an integrated and coherent whole. Arena-sized electro-house and dark cellar techno blend with vintage synth experimentation that looks back to the 1970s and even further and acid house dynamics with fresh twists, but always with at least a hint of breathless euphoria – as exemplified by the grin-inducing ‘Put Your Hands Together’.
Absolutely sterling work, very possibly the most consistent album yet from the duo, and not a star guest in sight.
File under Techno history lesson
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Download ‘Cerulean’, ‘Your Love Ain’t Fair’, ‘Everyday’, ‘Put Your Hands Together’
Stream it on our MP3 blog here.