Most of Lab Beat's releases have taken years in preparation (more than one - sometimes more than two). And after all of that, you probably don't even care to know it.

Artificial Inelegance Volume Eleven marks the first in what may not be a series of sampler compilations showcasing some wonky glitch-step music (let's call it anything but bass music). Presented here is a selection from Lab Beat's roster of slightly mysterious producers, spread over 4 continents and including the first, and probably last new recordings in years by both Actionfist and Master Eveleigh.

Beginning with a legitimate and necessary re-release of glitch hopper HipGnosis' extremely dark and mechanical 'Antipodes' from his Scientific Illuminism album, 'A Box Funk Filer' sees Rose Specs touch the mic over a bumpy, meandering track with a gurgling bass and springy lead. His first verse performing as Rose Specs provides a happily unintelligible contribution to the mystery of Rose Specs, and perhaps something of a convergence between his 'post-Dilla bandwagon hijacker' work as Rose Specs and his mad-hatter Danny Gee project, with entertaining results.


Artificial Inelegance Volume Eleven


On 'Honey Oil', a kidnapped opera soprano is juxtaposed with off-kilter, half time snares, destabilised synths and dissonant, brassy exclamations for the first new Master Eveleigh in 6 years. This time it sounds absolutely nothing like Aphex Twin, but still a lot like the best bits of Fascinating Action and Plain Cats, while unlike much of Fisticuffs, Actionfist's Sandbitch is momentarily danceable, for anyone who likes sexy music, and all IDM enthusiasts among them should marvel at how something so glitchy can simultaneously be so funky.

Following such a comparatively jaunty outing as 2011's Joining Dots, Lab Beat bestseller Planes strays squarely into the dark side with the haunting, skittering 'Nuts & Bolts'. An unstable, soupy wobble is interposed between the innately exciting sound of insects buzzing. Fortunately there is a strong vibe to hold you tight throughout each unnerving listen. Meanwhile, Neverslept's 'Skrew You' riddim is nothing but a giant portion of confident robotic sleaze. A promise of a tight, funky staccato feel topped with hints of increasingly melancholic pads is not by itself sufficient explanation as to why you may snap your neck to this, especially if there is any robot in you.

Finally, 'Tond 7' is an underexploited old-school classic IDM recording by the heroic Fizzarum of St. Petersburg (Domino, Merck). Stone cold click-hop seems to expire very slowly.






Planes performing @ Plex



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