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- The Syncopated Elevators Legacy by Cedric Stevens / Leyland Kirby / Motion Sickness Of Time Travel / Fennesz
8/10 Mike Staff review, 24 May 2012
First up, the item description for this might be a bit confusing/misleading so let me tell you before I really get started that this is a Cedric Stevens record, with a remix disc featuring reworks from the other artists mentioned and more, not some kind of split or collaboration.
The first disc compiles some highlights of Stevens's analogue modular recordings from 1997-2005, with him capturing surprisingly human-sounding compositions tinged with a synthetic sheen of weirdness as they flutter and drift in the space in between ambience and composed electronica. There are parts where it gets pretty astral, but there's also moments of stuttering chaos which sound like a ZX Spectrum booting up (“but not as nice”, says Business Lady). 'Disguised Telescopes on Their Way to Planet Bottle' has some otherworldly minimal chuntering which wouldn't seem out of place on Pan. As the press release says, these recordings are very much “of their time”, but they're accomplished and enveloping and curious even now.
On the second LP there's a half-dozen remixes from Fennesz, Sylvain Chauveau, My Cat Is An Alien, Burning Star Core, Motion Sickness of Time Travel and Leyland Kirby. Quite the line-up, hey? These guys drag Stevens's work into the teenies with some luxuriously detailed, carefully paced and respectfully crafted mixes.
The first three are minutely detailed ambient bits, but it's the second side of remixes that's really making my ears prick up. Burning Star Core switch things up with a muffled techno beat providing the backbone for their surprisingly dancefloor-friendly slab of dark techno, which sounds pretty out of place but very good. Then the Motion Sickness one is a short and detailed bit bit of drifty droney beauty, and Leyland Kirby closes things out with a meditative, throbbing, nostalgic slice of weirdness which represents both Stevens and Kirby's work in a very flattering light. Overall it's a consistently listenable collection with some inspired moments.
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