Slipped Disc: Harmonic 313 – When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence

Artist: Harmonic 313

Album: When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence

Label: Warp

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Mark Pritchard is an incredible musical chameleon–while the earlier half of this decade saw him making an homage to library records with the mellotron-filled Harmonic 33 project, that little “1”–-also a nod to the Detroit influence –changes the game to hip-hop, techno, and dubstep. Taking cues from J-Dilla and Cybotron, Machines is a reflectively cold, yet subtly satirical take on retro-futurism. Tracks like “Galag-A”, with its classic video game title and decayed faux-Plaid synths, look inward at the mechanical visions of the future from yesteryear. “Falling Away”, with Steve Spacek, puts a human voice to the achingly expressive beats. Machines is an unmitigated triumph and a career high-point; given that Mark Pritchard was one half of Global Communication, the duo responsible for timeless ambient house classic 76:14, that’s saying something.

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