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Heroes

Hug

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Album Review

Swedish producer John Dahlbäck, cousin of Jesper Dahlbäck, had already released a lifetime's worth of music when Kompakt issued his first full-length as Hug. Prior to Heroes, there were over at least 20 solo 12" releases (as Hug, Huggotron, and Kaliber) and roughly as many with various partners (as Beckster, Hugg & Pepp, and Mark & John). Most of this happened before Dahlbäck turned 21. It could be the new standard for saturation. That level of productivity couldn't possibly leave enough time to ensure uniqueness in each release, and it's that issue that is the key factor in Heroes' fleeting pleasantness. A track from each of his singles for Kompakt's K2 division is reprised, while eight new tracks round it out. They're all between 5:25 and 6:36 in length, so you could say Dahlbäck is either overly formulaic or that he has his lean and supple form of techno down to a science. There's truth in both sides: each track is immaculately produced, and some of them — such as "The Platform," "Heroes," and "Fluteorgie" — are rich in dynamics and idiosyncratic sounds, but several play out with a similar arc and fail to leave a lasting impression beyond their cleanliness.

Heroes, Hug
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