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An Instinct for Detection

Lionrock

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Album Review

There's something joyous afoot throughout Lionrock's excellent, overlooked gem of an album An Instinct for Detection. Equal parts throbbing, frazzled instrumentals and tracks with too-cool vocals, the entire album shines. When things get heavy, Justin Robertson and company throw in hilarious samples, before getting back to the business of creating a soundtrack for city life. The instrumental tracks, abuzz with inebriated electronics, work in a caffeinated vein, repeatedly suggesting a controlled driving force; it's first-class dance music when it goes the dance route. Particularly delightful tracks along this path are the absolutely ominous-sounding dark movements of "Death Valley Clapperboard" and the evocative film noir suggestions of "The Guide." Vocalist MC Buzz B uses a vocal inflection that is entirely infectious on "Straight at Yer Head," "Peace Repackaged," and "Depth." His style is a cross between singing and syncopated speech; the ultra-precise enunciation works as an excellent counterpoint to the aggressive, accessible throttle of the music. Perhaps the album didn't catch on with a wider audience because it came too early in the electronica boom of the late '90s, but it certainly contains massive charms and a handful of tracks that could very easily be hit singles. An Instinct for Detection is a remarkable, wonderful album that shows consistent mastery of the pop and electronica genres. It's the perfect example of an album that masters dance and pop music, and it is perhaps the greatest lost classic of the '90s in any genre.

Biography

Formed: 1991

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Producer Justin Robertson began recording as Lionrock in 1991 after plotting a successful career as a DJ and remixer. Aloof in the limelight and popular almost despite himself, Robertson took an almost laughably conventional route to a level of success reached by less then one-percent of dance music producers. A native of Manchester, Robertson earned a degree in philosophy before taking a job as (what else) a record store clerk in the Eastern Bloc record shop, where he began collecting the funkier...
Full bio
An Instinct for Detection, Lionrock
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