Burial, Flying Lotus, and How to Dress Well receive well-deserved accolades and critical high marks for their fractured approaches to urban music. Whether those artists or their fans realize it, all of those contemporary artists owe at least some of that aesthetic to Achim Szepanski’s Mille Plateaux, the vanguard German imprint that showcased producers such as Vladislav Delay and Wolfgang Voigt and defined the millennial moment in music known as glitch. As half of the UK-based post-techno duo SND, Mark Fell crafted for that label a sort of circuit board dub, warm and inviting even when deconstructing and degrading.
Fortunately Mille Plateaux’s abrupt end in 2004 didn’t put Fell off music; he found a cozy home a couple years ago with like-minded label Editions Mego. In keeping with the electronic music tradition he came up in, he hid (sorta) behind the Sensate Focus moniker for a numerically vexing series of spectacular 12” platters that sentimentally reclaimed some of the warehouse rave purity of house music. For Sentielle Objectif Actualite, Fell sheds the mask altogether for seven remixes distinct enough from the originals to be appreciated on their own, albeit for slightly different reasons. Heavily informed by the sequencer handclap funk of the seminal Chicago sound yet still so starkly, stubbornly minimal, these numerically ordered tracks aren’t optimized for peak hour dancefloors. Skittish, even fraying rhythmic patterns stay mostly within the lines, making them viable for more adventurous DJs. Beyond that, though, this one’s for the freaks.
// Notes from the Road
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