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The Album Formerly Known As...

Carl Craig

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Album Review

Met with a muddled chorus of hisses and hurrahs, Carl Craig's 2005 overhaul of 1995's Landcruising is, for a lot of Detroit techno and IDM heads, a divisive issue and a possibly baffling way to look back at a touchstone. No matter how much you've bonded with each twist and turn of the album, ten years have not been kind to each one of them — a few components dated rapidly while others have continued to sound just like progress. Rest assured, Craig knew exactly what wrongs to right. After comparing each original version to these adjusted updates, it becomes apparent that this is a sharper, bolder, more immediate, and more durable Landcruising. "Science Fiction" leaves the greatest impression, with every single element made more incisive and pliable. Craig also knows where to hold back, as he does with "A Wonderful Life" — its changes are minor, while the sound is vastly improved. In addition to a couple decent remixes tacked at the end, there's a new track: if Lil' Louis' "French Kiss" is an illicit one-night rendezvous, the appropriately titled "Sparkle" is a bliss-smacked first kiss. Earlier in 2005, Craig released a promising 12" of new material, so it was disappointing that his long-on-hold follow-up to More Songs About Food and Revolutionary Art remained on hold for yet another revisitation like this (Planet E's reissue schedule had long been more busy than its new release schedule), but one scan through the results here should wipe out most grievances. Craig's actions have made permanent the classic status of an album that was sounding a little less classic as the years wore on. The true debate raised by this release is whether or not the original has been rendered obsolete. It hasn't, but those who never owned the original needn't seek it out as long as this remains easier to obtain. [Planet E issued this on triple vinyl, while Amsterdam's Rush Hour handled the CD version and used different artwork.]

Biography

Born: 22 May 1969 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Dancefloor experimentalist and top Detroit techno producer Carl Craig has few equals in terms of the artistry, influence, and diversity of his recordings. Few others have recorded so much quality music in such a variety of styles as has Craig, who jammed distorted beatbox samples into lo-fi electro riggings, crafted epic house tracks like his remix of Tori Amos' "God," and recorded the most sublime Detroit techno since godfathers Juan Atkins and Derrick May were at their peak. After an apprenticeship...
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