I can’t stop this ringing in my head.
With new album Luxury Problems, Andy Stott effectively rendered his previous pair of groundbreaking dark techno EPs irrelevant. It takes all of ten seconds for this, the opening track, to signify a giant leap. Siren vocals cut into shards and raining from above, resonating like a Tibetan singing-bowl. A Mariana trench of low-end crunch erupts like a basket of poisonous snakes, twisting through every crack in every direction. It feels like a glass house shattering from the round up, each piece hanging in the air a little too long.
I hope you’ve already hit play and raised the volume to an uncomfortable level. With any luck, it’ll start snowing.
The video may be fan crafted, cut from a half century’s worth of iconic women of the cinema, but it nails the aesthetic conjured every time I hear this music. There’s a sense of distance, of desire, and of danger cutting throughout the album, and it’s expressed most clearly on this, the first track.
It’s strange to think of the handful of album covers in 2012 featuring high-contrast b&w photography of women as all representing their respective sounds in spectacular fashion. Luxury Problems is my favorite.