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Luxury Problems

Andy Stott

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Album Review

Despite being significantly more ambient and less knotty than Andy Stott's 2011 releases, which were combined and expanded that December for Passed Me By/We Stay Together, Luxury Problems is nearly as spine-chilling. Its rhythms are fluid more often than coagulated, and there's an additional human element granted by the voice of opera-trained singer Alison Skidmore. The sense of intimacy is present from the opening "Numb," beginning with a looped intonation of "touch," a fragment of which takes the role of hi-hat before an industrial-sounding thrum — something like a mechanical malfunction — enters as a four-four beat. It's dark ambient, industrial techno, and trip-hop all at once. The hard-churning "Sleepless" stomps and grieves with sampled voices volleying distraught phrases: "You left me" (male), "You faked it" (female). The title song possesses a rhythm as sleazy as that of anything by Matias Aguayo or Matthew Dear; the sound of Skidmore's voice is so hushed and echoed that the words could be taken as a come-on or a warning, with sudden gasps and breaths signifying either anticipation or terror (or both). Toward the end, the album takes a pair of contrasting, thrilling turns. "Up the Box" begins with three minutes of rustling percussion that gradually intensify prior to dissipating into a short sequence of blips and unfurling the deathless "Amen" break in atypically slow motion. Then, on the closing "Leaving," somewhere between minimal wave and the Cocteau Twins' Victorialand, strings are reduced to vapor and drift through plangent two-note keyboard riffs and Skidmore's elegiac vocal. In its own less-alien way, Luxury Problems is just as brilliant as what preceded it.

Customer Reviews

Uhhhhhh. Wow.

It's the soundtrack to a Halloween party in a crack house.

So Groovy

Dense, throbbing atmospheres to emerse yourself in. Not to too dark. Not too light. So heavy. Thank you Andy for the smooth tunes! Please keep them coming!

Luxury Indeed

ARIA - Corner Suite - Las Vegas - Mandatory album

Biography

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

During the latter part of the 2000s, Manchester-based DJ/producer Andy Stott evolved from making high-quality dub techno to releasing a singular and more adventurous strain with an approach that favored leaden tempos and unsettling, sample-based textures. From 2005 through 2011, Stott recorded exclusively for his hometown’s Modern Love label, where he quickly became a key member of the roster alongside fellow travelers Claro Intelecto and Demdike Stare. He released a dozen singles and EPs, along...
Full Bio
Luxury Problems, Andy Stott
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Customer Ratings

Contemporaries

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